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    UST to Appeal Antitrust Verdict

    Rival Conwood awarded $1.05 billion by Federal Court.

    CINCINNATI - A federal appeals court in Ohio this week ruled that United States Tobacco Co. (UST), maker of Skoal and Copenhagen, broke antitrust laws and attempted to stifle competition.

    Vincent A. Gierer Jr., chairman and CEO of UST Inc., announced plans to appeal the verdict, the Associated Press reported.

    This ruling upheld a 2000 decision by a federal court jury in Paducah, Ky., ordering UST to pay $350 million to Memphis, Tenn.-based rival Conwood Co., which alleged that UST salesmen had misled retailers, obscured Conwood's Kodiak and Cougar brands and removed their display racks in some cases. Under federal antitrust laws, the award was automatically tripled to $1.05 billion.

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