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Tobacco Firms Receive Antitrust Subpoenas

September 18, 1998|Bloomberg News

Philip Morris Cos., RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. and at least two tobacco leaf processors were served with subpoenas from a federal grand jury in Philadelphia investigating possible antitrust violations in the tobacco leaf industry. Philip Morris, RJR, Universal Corp. and Dimon Inc. confirmed receiving the demands for information on leaf purchases in what the Justice Department said was a broadened probe that grew out of a preliminary inquiry it disclosed in January. British American Tobacco's Brown & Williamson cigarette division declined comment and a spokesman for leaf processor Standard Commercial Corp, couldn't be reached. A person familiar with the case said in January that the case centered on buying practices at leaf auctions and didn't target U.S. cigarette makers. On the New York Stork Exchange, Danville, Va.-based Dimon's shares rose 56 cents to close at $11.19; New York-based

Philip Morris rose $1.69 to $46.25; New York-based RJR sliped 6 cents to $25.19; and Richmond, Va.-based Universal rose 81 cents to $37.31.

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