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Cosmetics giveaway will settle lawsuit

To end price-fixing allegations, major department stores will this week distribute free cosmetics to eligible customers. To end price-fixing allegations, major department stores will this week distribute free cosmetics to eligible customers. (Diane Langlume/Bloomberg News/File 2007)
By Emily Sweeney
Globe Staff / January 19, 2009
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Several major department stores will be giving away $175 million worth of perfume, makeup, and moisturizers beginning tomorrow - part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit that accused them of conspiring with cosmetics companies to fix prices.

Stores named in the class-action suit included Bloomingdale's, Filene's, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Estée Lauder Cos., L'Oréal USA, Christian Dior Perfumes, Chanel, and other high-end brands were also named as defendants. All denied any wrongdoing.

But under the settlement, consumers who purchased specific colognes, perfumes, and beauty products at the stores between May 29, 1994, and July 16, 2003, are entitled to one free product. For a list of the freebies and participating stores, visit www.cosmeticssettlement.com.

The stores will distribute the products to eligible customers on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. No rain checks will be issued. The giveaway will last seven days.

Correction: Because of an editing error, a Daily Briefing item in yesterday's Business & Innovation section about a cosmetics giveaway gave the wrong start date. The giveaway begins today.

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