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Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway fined $900k for stock rule breaches

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway fined $900k for stock rule breaches

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has paid $896,000 (£541,000) to the US Department of Justice after being accused of failing to notify regulators that it had built up its stake in a holding last December.

Berkshire last night settled the civil suit, which was filed in a Federal District Court in Washington. The case involved an existing holding, construction materials company USG Corporation, that Berkshire had been invested in since 2006.

At the end of last year USG converted $325 million of debt into equity, which in turn pushed Buffett's firm's stake to around 28%, worth $950 million. The US authorities require companies announce any stakes in companies that reach over $283.6 million under anti-trust laws.

Berkshire did not admit to the Justice Department's allegations but Buffett said in a statement that 'this event triggered a filing requirement for Berkshire and we were late in realising that fact. We made a mistake.'

Berkshire has been censured in the past for failing to disclose increased stakes in stockholdings when required. Last year it came under fire from authorities after breaching the reporting requirements over its holding in Symetra Financial. Berkshire escaped with a warning on occasion.

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