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GGP promotes Father’s Day with MLB All-Star Game sweepstakes

BY CSA STAFF

With Father’s Day approaching, General Growth Properties has rolled out a mall promotion that invites shoppers to “check in” to their local GGP mall using Foursquare for a chance to win a trip to the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix.

When shoppers “check-in” through Foursquare, they receive a link to enter the sweepstakes, which includes four tickets to the MLB All-Star Game on July 12, $1,000 in Shop Etc. Mall Gift Cards and a hotel stay and golf outing at the AAA Four-Diamond, all-suite Arizona Grand Resort.

“We’re continually looking for fun and interactive ways to engage our shoppers — especially through social media. This is the first time we’ve used Foursquare for a mall promotion and we’re excited for our customers to participate,” said Lesley Cheers, director, public relations, GGP. “And baseball, summer and dad all go hand-and-hand so it’s the perfect sweepstakes.”

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Court upholds $188 million judgment against Wal-Mart

BY Staff Writer

New York City — A Superior Court in Pennsylvania on Friday upheld a $187.6 million class action award against Wal-Mart Stores on allegations that its Pennsylvania employees were not properly compensated for off-the-clock work and missed rest breaks.

A panel said there was sufficient evidence at trial to conclude there had been a breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violations of state labor laws, the Associated Press reported.

The judges also ruled in a 211-page opinion that the presiding Philadelphia judge erred in determining some of the plaintiffs’ legal fees, and sent that part of the case back for recalculation.

The 2006 trial, which lasted 32 days, resulted in a finding that Wal-Mart did not pay employees for all the work they performed and did not let them take their paid, mandatory rest breaks, the judges wrote. The court awarded $46 million in attorneys’ fees, the report said.

Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter said the chain believes the court decision was wrong in a number of respects and looks forward to additional review in the courts, according to the Associated Press. Rossiter said the company has settled numerous lawsuits in other states that involved similar allegations, and the Philadelphia case is the only active one that he knows of.

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Amazon cuts off Arkansas affiliates

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Amazon.com said Friday that it would drop its online affiliates in Arkansas in response to a new state law that would have required the online retailer to start charging sales tax, the Associated Press reported.

Lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year to require out-of-state online retailers such as Amazon to collect sales tax from customers if their annual sales in the state exceed $10,000.

The bill applied to retailers with online affiliates, even if they don’t have a physical presence in the state. Amazon pays advertising fees to a network of so-called Amazon Associates in the state, who promote the company on their websites.

State law requires consumers to pay sales taxes on items they buy online, but the burden is on them to report the purchases. Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores and other state retailers say that opens a loophole that hurts their businesses.

Amazon opposed changing the law, and this week, it notified associates by email that it would terminate their contracts on July 24.

Amazon has made the same move in other states, including Illinois and Connecticut, which changed their sales tax laws.

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