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Business roundup: Printed Britannica's death spawns huge rise in sales

This undated photo provided April 5, 2012, by Chicago-based Encyclopaedia Britannica, shows the 2010 32-volume final print edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Three weeks after announcing it will discontinue its print editions after 244 years, people
This undated photo provided April 5, 2012, by Chicago-based Encyclopaedia Britannica, shows the 2010 32-volume final print edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Three weeks after announcing it will discontinue its print editions after 244 years, people have been scrambling to buy the last edition. A spokesman says all by 800 of the last 4,000 sets have been sold. (AP Photo/Courtesy Encyclopaedia Britannica)
, AP

CHICAGO — It turns out all Encyclopaedia Britannica had to do to breathe life into the business of selling its print edition was kill it.

Three weeks after announcing it will discontinue its print editions after 244 years, people have been scrambling to buy the last of the 32-volume 2010 edition. On Thursday, spokesman Peter Duckler said all but about 800 of the last 4,000 sets have been sold for $1,395 each.

When the Chicago-based company made its announcement last month, it said sales had plummeted from a peak of 120,000 in 1990 to just 60 a week.

Duckler says since customers found out the print editions were about to disappear, they've been selling at a clip of more than 1,000 a week.

— Associated Press

JUDGE IN SAN FRANCISCO DISMISSES HAPPY MEAL SUIT

A San Francisco judge has dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit that sought to stop McDonald's Corp. from using toys to market its meals to children in California. The suit had been filed in late 2010 by Monet Parham, a California mother of two, and The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group based in Washington.

The suit claimed the world's biggest burger chain was violating consumer protection laws and exploiting children's vulnerability by using toys to lure them to eat nutritionally unbalanced meals that can lead to obesity. The lawsuit did not seek damages.

— Associated Press

J.C. PENNEY CO. LAYS OFF 13% OF STAFF AT HEADQUARTERS

NEW YORK — J.C. Penney Co. says it has laid off 600 associates, or 13 percent of the staff at its headquarters in Plano, Texas, as the department store chain looks to streamline its operations amid a major reinvention of the business.

The chain also will eliminate 300 additional associates at the Customer Call Center when it closes the center July 1.

— Associated Press

KEITH OLBERMANN SUES CURRENT OVER HIS SHOW'S PROBLEMS

LOS ANGELES — Keith Olbermann is moving his grievances with former employer Current TV from the airwaves to the courtroom, suing the network for more than $50 million and blasting it for what he claims were shoddy production values.

Olbermann's breach-of-contract lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Thursday also seeks a judge's ruling that he didn't disparage the network before his firing, and that his former bosses violated his agreement by disclosing how much he was being paid.

The suit makes several attacks on Current co-founder Joel Hyatt and network President David Borman, claiming they were responsible for many of his show's problems.

The lawsuit comes roughly a week after Olbermann was fired from "Countdown."

— Associated Press

EX-TYCO CEO LOSES BID FOR EARLY RELEASE FROM PRISON

NEW YORK — Former Tyco International Ltd. CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski has lost a bid to get out of the New York prison where he's serving time for taking millions of dollars in unauthorized bonuses.

The state Parole Board said in a decision Thursday that his release now "would not be compatible with the welfare of society at large." The board said his conviction represented a "glaring violation of trust" in a CEO of the public.

— Associated Press

Workers install a new sign at Salt Lake City's Triad Center, 95 N. 300 West, on Wednesday. The Triad Center houses KSL and the Deseret News newsrooms.