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Wal-Mart Reaches Settlement on Item-Pricing in Massachusetts

BOSTON - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has agreed to a multimillion dollar settlement in a case brought by a consumer activist who said the chain failed to comply with a Massachusetts law requiring individual item-pricing by retailers, The Associated Press reports.

Wal-Mart has agreed to spend $5.6 million over three years to bring its stores into compliance with the regulation requiring each item to have a price tag. It will also pay $750,000 in attorneys' fees and donate $1 million to several consumer and charitable groups and to Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly's consumer aid fund.

No consumers will be compensated in the settlement.

Colman Herman, the Boston activist who brought the case, reached a similar settlement in 2002 in a case against Home Depot.

The case against Home Depot prompted opposition from retailers about the high costs of pricing each item. Last year, Reilly changed the regulation to allow retailers to instead install bar code scanners capable of printing self-adhesive stickers. That allows consumers who want prices stamped on individual products to do it themselves.

Wal-Mart admitted no wrongdoing. The settlement allows it to reduce its $1 million in grant payments by $165,000 if it installs one more scanner in each store than required under the new regulation.
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