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Google Hit With $2.7B Fine in EU's 'Worst-Kept Secret'

Competition chief Margrethe Vestager says tech giant violated antitrust rules

(Newser) - Don't mess with Margrethe Vestager, even if you're Google. The tech giant found that out Tuesday when, in what Bloomberg calls "the worst-kept secret in Brussels," Europe's competition chief hit it with a $2.7 billion antitrust fine—the largest ever in this kind of... More »

Ferguson Judge Behind Fines Scheme Owes $170K

Ronald Brockmeyer, 70, is also accused of fixing tickets

(Newser) - A Ferguson, Missouri judge first got in hot water when the Justice Dept. accused him of fixing traffic tickets and unfairly punishing residents over unpaid fees. But 70-year-old Ronald Brockmeyer has another problem: more than $170,000 in outstanding taxes, the Guardian reports. According to tax liens filed by the... More »

Saggy Pants Ban a Profitable Move for Georgia Town

Waistlines are down, cash is up

(Newser) - In Albany, Georgia, saggy pants are a sartorial faux pas—and quite the little moneymaker. On Nov. 23 of last year, the city instituted a ban on anyone wearing pants (or skirts!) more than three inches below the hips. Since then, 187 citations have been issued, raking in $3,... More »

Aussies to Make Obnoxious Swearing Illegal

Victoria police will be able to slap the potty-mouthed with fines

(Newser) - Don't get too vulgar in Victoria—it could cost you up to $257. Australia's second most populous state is poised to approve a law that will give police the power to fine those who utter obnoxious obscenities in public, reports the Sydney Morning Herald . The attorney general says... More »

American Airlines Faces Record $24.2M Fine

FAA says it didn't correct faulty wiring

(Newser) - The FAA is apparently trying to prove it can't be bulled by the airlines. It plans to fine American Airlines $24.2 million—that's more than twice the size of the current record fine—over maintenance violations, reports USA Today . The agency alleges that American flew thousands of unsafe flights... More »

Fraud Fine Is Chump Change for Goldman

$500M penalty amounts to just 2 weeks of profits

(Newser) - The SEC is boasting that the $550 million settlement it agreed to with Goldman Sachs is the "largest-ever penalty paid by a Wall Street firm." That may be true, but that doesn't mean it's actually going to chasten Goldman. Top put things in perspective, Pro Publica notes that... More »

NFL Fines Titans Owner $250K for Flipping Bird

Tennessee's Bud Adams dinged for 'detrimental' conduct

(Newser) - The NFL fined 86-year-old Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams $250,000 for "conduct detrimental to the league"—namely, flipping the bird toward the Buffalo Bills' sideline in the waning moments of yesterday's 41-17 Tennessee victory. He later repeated the display on the field, the Tennessean reports. "I... More »

Overdue Books Return —51 Years Late

(Newser) - An Arizona high school librarian got the surprise of her career when she opened a package and found a letter from a former student, two books checked out in 1958—and a money order for $1,000 to cover the overdue-book fines. The books, Community of Living Things: Forests and ... More »

FAA Starts Own Balloon Boy Probe

Flight delays at Denver airport during caper could result in fines

(Newser) - The Federal Aviation Administration is the latest agency to start its own investigation of last week’s Colorado balloon circus, with authorities looking into delays at Denver International Airport during the craft’s flight. And while local law enforcement wants criminal charges against the Heene family, any FAA violations would... More »

Pfizer Pays Record $2.3B Fine for False Marketing

(Newser) - Pfizer will shell out $2.3 billion—a record for a health care fraud settlement—over deceptive marketing of its drugs, the Los Angeles Times reports. Pfizer and one of its subsidiaries marketed four drugs based on off-label uses specifically prohibited by the FDA. The settlement with the Justice Department... More »

SF Library Offers Amnesty to Tardy Book Borrowers

But each has to cough up an excuse

(Newser) - A book amnesty program in San Francisco has inspired many guilty returns and a few entertaining excuses, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The city's public library offered tardy borrowers the chance to return items, fine-free, as long as they came with an excuse. Returning a record 29,228 items worth... More »

Sex at 80 MPH Not Cool With Norwegian Cops

(Newser) - A Norwegian man faces a stiff fine and driving ban for having sex behind the wheel, the AFP reports. Cops thought he was just speeding—about 80 mph in a 60 zone—until they pulled closer and found his view obstructed “because her back was in the way.”... More »

Siemens Will Pay $1.3B in Fines for Global Corruption

Company settles on US charges for $800M, shells out more over German accusations

(Newser) - German engineering conglomerate Siemens pleaded guilty today to an international pay-to-play scheme and will pay the US $800 million in fines, the Wall Street Journal reports. It will also give $528 million to the German government—adding to a $275 million payout last year. More »

Players Tackle 'Excessive' NFL Fines

Pros complain that crackdown on illegal hits is about money, not safety

(Newser) - The NFL players union is taking action on member complaints that the league has gone fine-happy this season, reports the Washington Post. Players charge that fines for illegal hits have become excessive. The union director is seeking a new system that would allow disgruntled players to appeal penalty decisions to... More »

American Airlines Faces $7M Fine for Safety Violations

(Newser) - American Airlines faces FAA fines of more than $7 million for a series of safety and maintenance violations and for deficiencies in its drug and alcohol testing, the Wall Street Journal reports. In proposing one of its biggest fines ever, the FAA accuses American of knowingly flying planes that needed... More »

Citigroup Will Buy Back $7B of Bad Debt, Pay $100M Fine

Deal with SEC, NY state seen as 'face-saving,' could mean more ahead

(Newser) - Citigroup has agreed to buy back $7 billion in risky debt it marketed to consumers as safe and equivalent to cash, Reuters reports. Today’s deal, struck with New York's attorney general and the SEC, also requires the bank to pay fines totaling $100 million, and reimburse customers who took... More »

Continental Faces Manslaughter Charges

Conviction would result in multi-million dollar fine

(Newser) - Continental Airlines will have to stand trial for manslaughter over its role in the explosive crash of an Air France jet, a French judge ruled today. Five individuals have also been charged in the 2000 accident, which saw a Concorde jet burst into flames while leaving a Paris runway, killing... More »

China Hangs Onto 1-Child Policy

Country fears growth boom if rule is rescinded

(Newser) - China will keep up its one-child policy over the next decade as nearly 200 million citizens reach child-bearing age, CNN reports. "Given such a large population base, there would be major fluctuations in population growth if we abandoned the one-child rule now," said the country's family planning minister,... More »

China May Drop 1-Baby Law

Officials want more girls, but fear triggering baby boom

(Newser) - China, faced with an aging population and too few women, may end its controversial one- child-per-family policy. The law that allowed urban couples only one child and rural families two is credited with preventing 400 million births over three decades. But cultural preferences for males has also created a troubling... More »

EU Fines Microsoft Record $1.3B

Regulators punish company for overcharging Windows developers

(Newser) - The European Commission fined Microsoft today a record $1.35 billion for failing to comply with its 2004 antitrust ruling. The EU's executive branch said that the company continued to charge "unreasonable prices" to developers building programs for Windows despite both the earlier ruling and a court verdict last... More »

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