Consumer Confidential: Toy firm fined; Hertz goes it alone
Here's your throat-clearing Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:
-- Federal regulators aren't kidding around when it comes to toy safety. The Consumer Product Safety Commission slapped a $1.3-million fine on a toy company that sold popular arts-and-crafts beads that were linked to a dangerous drug and sickened about a dozen children. The civil penalty marks the third largest toy-related fine issued by the agency. The Aqua Dots toy beads were imported by Spin Master in 2007 and recalled after tests showed they were coated with a chemical that, when ingested, can metabolize into the so-called "date-rape" drug gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB). The compound can induce unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death.
-- Rental-car companies sure play hard to get. Hertz Global Holdings says it's withdrawing its offer for Dollar Thrifty, but is still interested in buying the rival rental car company. Hertz cited Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group's plan to buy back stock and current market conditions. This year, Hertz offered to buy Dollar Thrifty for $57.60 in cash and 0.8546 shares of Hertz stock for each Dollar Thrifty share. That was a sweetening of a previous offer made by the company last year and rejected by Dollar Thrifty shareholders. But Dollar Thrifty advised its shareholders against accepting Hertz's sweetened offer.
-- David Lazarus