Two Court Verdicts That Suit Business

Business scored two wins from the U. S. Supreme Court on Apr. 20. The justices ruled 5 to 4 in favor of the Newark Morning Ledger Co., a New Jersey newspaper company, and against the Internal Revenue Service. The decision allows companies to write off acquired intangible assets, such as newspaper subscriber lists, bank deposit accounts, and brokerage accounts, if they can be accurately valued. That could wipe out as much as $10 billion in taxes companies had owed on such assets.

The justices also ruled unanimously that Hazen Paper, a small Holyoke (Mass.) company, had not practiced age discrimination when it fired Walter F. Biggins, then 62, just before he was due to vest in its pension plan. The court said the firing was O. K. as long as it wasn't motivated by negative stereotypes about older workers.

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