Today's Top Stories: Business

Oklahoman Modified: January 14, 2013 at 11:09 pm •  Published: January 15, 2013
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United accused of fraud

— The lawsuit filed against United Airlines, alleging that the company falsely claims to buy jet fuel in a rural Illinois community in order to skirt tens of millions of dollars in sales taxes, hinges on whether a transportation agency can prove the monumental purchasing task couldn't have been done from inside the airline's tiny office 70 miles from Chicago. Throughout the lawsuit — which alleges the office doesn't have a computer and is only staffed by one part-time employee — the Regional Transportation Authority's argument boils down to this: United's contention that it is buying fuel in Sycamore is absurd. It won't be enough for the RTA to show that United set up shop in the DeKalb County community of Sycamore to avoid paying close to $300 million in sales taxes. Rather, it must show that the work United says is going on in Sycamore is really being done at United's headquarters at Willis Tower in downtown Chicago.

World

Watchmaker to buy rival

— Switzerland's biggest watch maker, Swatch Group AG, will pay about $1 billion to buy Canada's Harry Winston watch and jewelry brand, officials from both companies said Monday. The Biel, Switzerland-based company agreed to pay $750 million to acquire the brand from Toronto-based Harry Winston Diamond Corp. and will also assume as much as $250 million in debt, a joint statement said. The acquisition includes the Harry Winston production company in Geneva and more than 500 employees globally.

From Wire Reports