Department stores pay to end probe

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- The adage that Macy's doesn't tell Gimbel's its business didn't hold true in the lucrative world of bridal registries and tableware sales, according to a settlement announced Tuesday.
Federated Department Stores, which operates Macy's and Bloomingdale's; May Department Stores, which owns Lord & amp; Taylor; tableware-maker Lenox Inc.; and crystal manufacturer Waterford Wedgwood crystal will pay $2.9 million in civil penalties to the state of New York under the settlement with Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
The companies are accused of conspiring to restrict competition by the national retailer Bed, Bath & amp; Beyond by keeping it from selling Lenox and Waterford products.
The result, Spitzer said, was to restrict consumers' choice of the products popular in bridal registries at the lower-cost retail chain, although no cost to consumers has been calculated.

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