HEARST SETTLES FTC CHARGES

Must Return $19 Million in Profits, Sell Drug Database

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- The Hearst Corp. agreed to give back $19 million in profits and to sell a drug information database it acquired in an unusual settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC said Hearst unlawfully acquired the business without giving antitrust officials required information to evaluate the deal. The case is the first ever in which the FTC sought divestiture or disgorgement of profits after a merger was consumated.

Hearst said the cost of the settlement would be minimized because the money will come out of a $26 million settlement it reached earlier in a class action lawsuit.

While the FTC approved the settlement unanimously, two commissioners questioned whether the agency should have imposed penalties in addition to those won in the private lawsuit.

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