State Attorney General Rob McKenna announced a $5 million, multistate settlement with the maker of a supposed “male enhancement” pill advertised on TV with a character named Smiling Bob. Customers claimed they had trouble canceling orders they didn’t want, and that the products did not live up to the advertised claims. Consumers who purchased supplements from Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals and associated companies may file for possible restitution at www.atg.wa.gov or by calling 800 551-4636.
Costco profit slips, but its stock rises
Costco Wholesale Corp., the nation’s largest wholesale-club operator, said Thursday that its fiscal second-quarter profit slipped 3 percent, but the results still beat Wall Street expectations, nudging its shares upward. Costco shares rose 61 cents, or 1.2 percent, to close at $52.80 Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market after rising earlier in the day to $53.30, the highest level in the past five years. For the three months ended Feb. 12, Issaquah-based Costco said net income declined to $296.2 million, or 62 cents a share, from $305.5 million, or 62 cents a share, a year ago.
EU officials chastise Microsoft conduct
Microsoft Corp. will be fined if it keeps up its current conduct, the EU’s antitrust chief warned Thursday after the company accused the EU of withholding documents and colluding with Microsoft’s rivals before filing charges in December. The EU has threatened $2.4 million in daily fines, retroactive to Dec. 15, unless the company obeys a 2004 antitrust order to provide competitors with the information needed to make their software work with Microsoft servers.
Northwest, pilots still seeking deal
The threat of mutually assured destruction kept Northwest Airlines and its pilots at the bargaining table on Thursday. Though Northwest had the power to impose a cost-cutting contract of its choosing, the pilots’ threat of a strike that could sink the nation’s fourth-largest airline made that unlikely.
Boeing changes board elections
Boeing Co. said in a regulatory filing Thursday that all members of its board of directors will be elected annually instead of every three years. As a result, all current directors will stand for election at this year’s annual shareholders’ meeting May 1. The board also approved a management proposal to eliminate all remaining supermajority voting provisions from the company’s bylaws and charter documents.
From Herald staff and news services