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National business briefs for Nov. 9

National business briefs for Nov. 9.
By The Associated Press Published: November 9, 2012

Data broker details sought

A group of lawmakers say data-mining companies that collect and sell personal information about consumers should make their operations more transparent. Members of the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus said Thursday that responses they received from nine major data brokers provided only a glimpse of a multibillion-dollar industry “that has operated in the shadows for years.” Data brokers tap a variety of sources for consumer information, including mobile phones and social media sites. The data is then packaged and sold to advertisers and retailers seeking to tailor their marketing to specific customers. The privacy caucus sent letters to the data brokers in July. One of the main questions it wants answered is how data brokers rate consumers and group them into categories.

BP ordered to pay royalties

BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. has been ordered to pay the state of Alaska $255 million for royalties on oil production lost during 2006 spills and subsequent pipeline shutdowns to replace pipe on the North Slope. The state announced the award, reached by arbitrators Oct. 31, on Thursday. The state says the final amount $10 million to settle civil assessments. BP said in a statement it was “pleased to finally resolve the last remaining claim.” The state and BP agreed to enter arbitration instead of continuing legal battles. A three-member panel heard the case over four weeks last May and June in Anchorage. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., a subsidiary of London-based BP PLC, must pay by Dec. 3.

Trademark case is transferred

A lawsuit over the use of Julia Child's name by the maker of Thermador ovens will be transferred to California, where a related lawsuit is pending, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled Thursday. The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts says BSH Home Appliances Corp. is using the late chef's name and image without permission. The company's advertising has included pictures of Child and referred to her use of Thermador products. The Irvine, Calif.-based manufacturer said it's simply making a factual reference to Child's use of its high-end appliances.

From Wire Reports