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Sempra Settles, Agrees To Pay $350 million

A settlement was reached Wednesday in a class-action lawsuit alleging Sempra Energy and two of its utilities, including Southern California Gas Company, conspired to stop competition for natural gas, leading to the state's 2000-01 energy crisis. Erik Anderson has more.

Sempra officials say they'll pay $350 million to settle claims the energy company tried to limit natural gas supplies to drive up prices. The company will also restructure how it does business, saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. Company CEO Stephan Baum says the deal ends a lawsuit that could have cost the firm $23 billion.

Baum: While Sempra Energy and its subsidiaries did nothing wrong, it was never the less important to put this major risk behind us in a manner that would allowed us to continue growing our companies for our customers, employees and shareholders. I believe these settlements will allow us to do that."

Plaintiffs say the restructuring could push the value of the deal over $1.8 billion. That would make it the largest settlement of its kind in U.S. history. Erik Anderson, KPBS news.


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