FEDS PROBING: The FBI and federal prosecutors are examining people hired by hedge fund manager William Ackman about potential manipulation of Herbalife Ltd. stock, according to the Wall Street Journal. The government is investigating whether those hired by Ackman, who has alleged the multilevel marketer is a pyramid scheme and made a $1 billion bet against the company, have made false statements about Herbalife’s business model, the newspaper reported. Neither Ackman nor Pershing Square had been served with a subpoena or visited by FBI agents about the probe.
ANOTHER BID: He’s not halfway through his first term yet, but Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is already preparing to run for a second. Garcetti, who was elected in May 2013, has filed the necessary paperwork to start fundraising for his re-election campaign. He also launched his 2017 campaign website, Eric Garcetti for Mayor 2017, on March 9.
SHOCKING RULING: In a move that has shocked the music industry, a jury has ordered Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay $7.4 million to Marvin Gaye’s children, saying their hit song “Blurred Lines” copied from Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” While music industry insiders are weighing the implications of the verdict, the attorney for both Thicke and Williams said he will seek an appeal.
LAYOFFS: Paramount Pictures laid off at least 40 employees last week as a result of restructuring at parent company, Viacom Inc. Viacom executives had issued warnings of possible job cuts at least a month ago. Employees at cable network TV Land, another Viacom subsidiary, have also been affected by an undisclosed number of layoffs.
FTC SUES: The Federal Trade Commission is suing El Segundo satellite TV giant DirecTV for charges of deceptive advertising. The FTC says customers were not notified a two-year contract was a required part of a discounted 12-month programming package. The commission also said it was not clear the cost of the package could go up by as much as $45 a month in the second year and that customers would have to pay up to $480 if they tried to cancel the contract early. DirecTV officials say the company has done nothing wrong.
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