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Briefs

Fox shows to return to WFFT

After 18 months as an independent, Fort Wayne TV station WFFT Local – starting March 1 – will again become a Fox network affiliate after an agreement was reached to dismiss a federal civil antitrust suit.

Nexstar Broadcasting Inc., of Irving, Texas, which owns WFFT, and Granite Broadcasting Corp., of New York, agreed to the dismissal, according to paperwork filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in Fort Wayne.

The conflict arose in 2011 when Granite – which was carrying NBC shows on WISE and ABC shows on WPTA, in addition to The CW – landed a deal to show Fox programming, which came after Nexstar was unable to rework an agreement with the network that features such hits as “American Idol,” “Glee” and the NFL.

Nexstar’s lawsuit accused Granite of trying to “monopolize local advertising sales in the Fort Wayne” area.

Nexstar contended that Granite’s network agreements unfairly positioned the company to set high advertising rates, which would filter down to viewers. Nexstar replaced Fox with WFFT Local on Aug. 1, 2011. The station features expanded community news, popular syndicated shows and movies.

Aunt Millie’s plans bakery in Merrillville

Aunt Millie’s Bakeries is planning to build a sales branch in Merrillville, just south of Gary in northwest Indiana.

The project, which is in the planning stage, is expected to create 20 to 25 jobs, company spokeswoman Melissa Dunning said in an email Wednesday.

The Fort Wayne bakery is considering a site on Mississippi Street in Merrillville. It would replace the company’s current rented location.

The size of the new building and its cost haven’t been finalized, Dunning said. Neither has the timeline for construction. She expects the new location will include a retail thrift store outlet and be the base for some bread trucks.

Aunt Millie’s now employs 1,850 companywide.

Zimmer ordered to pay millions in patent suit

A federal jury in Michigan has ruled Zimmer Inc. should pay Stryker Corp. $70 million for infringing on three of Stryker’s surgical instrument patents.

The complaint was filed Dec. 10, 2010, in U.S. District Court. The Kalamazoo jury rendered its verdict Tuesday.

Stryker’s policy is not to comment on legal matters.

Garry Clark, Zimmer’s spokesman, emailed this statement: “Zimmer is disappointed with the verdict and plans to pursue all available post-trial relief, including an appeal in due course.”

Warsaw’s Zimmer and Kalamazoo-based Stryker manufacture medical devices and surgical tools for the orthopedics market.

Royal Bank punished in rate-fixing scandal

Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland on Wednesday became the third major bank to be caught up in a global probe of interest-rate manipulation, but what makes the $610 million fine remarkable is how it will be paid: by the bankers themselves.

Because RBS is 80 percent owned by the British government, which bailed it out during the 2008 financial crisis, the bank plans to cut 2012 bonuses and recover previous payouts from staffers implicated in the fraud, their managers and other employees.

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