Times Staff and Wire Reports

U.S. Probes Possible Newsprint Price-Fixing: The Justice Department's antitrust investigators are examining companies that sell newsprint, looking for signs of price-fixing, a spokeswoman said. Agency spokeswoman Gina Talamona announced the opening of the probe, but she declined to release details, including the names of companies or individuals who might be the targets. The investigation began after complaints from newspaper publishers, according to the Justice Department. Rising newsprint costs have been cited in the shutdown of some papers recently, including the Houston Post, and in staff reductions at others. After price hikes of more than 40% this year, newsprint producers say they are preparing for a new round of increases in early 1996. Three companies this month told U.S. customers they will be raising list prices by as much as 9.7% starting in February. Most of the newsprint used in the United States is produced by about three dozen companies.

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