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Table: Broad Reach


Name a hot issue, and the attorneys general are probably involved--even though they overlap with federal agencies

ANTITRUST

Although the Justice Dept. has settled its case with Microsoft, nine states are still pushing for tougher penalties. AGs also police mergers and predatory business practices.

DRUG PRICING

AGs from 29 states sued Bristol-Myers Squibb, accusing it of illegally blocking less expensive generic versions of Taxol, its blockbuster cancer-fighting drug.

HIGHWAY SAFETY

Fifty AGs sued Bridgestone/Firestone and won a $51.5 million settlement. The deal called on the company to improve its safety disclosures, among other things.

PREDATORY LENDING

Big new issue in the AG community. They're suing lenders, establishing public information programs, and lobbying for new consumer-protection regulations.

PRIVACY

AGs have been an active regulatory force protecting consumer privacy. They have put pressure on the financial-services industry to restrict unauthorized data sharing.

TOBACCO

Remains a live issue after states' settlement with the industry in 1998. In February, 40 states reached an accord with Walgreens on measures to bar cigarette sales to minors.

WALL STREET

The wave of probes into the conflict of interest between analysts and investment bankers was sparked by New York AG Eliot Spitzer. AGs also prosecute local financial fraud.


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