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The Independent Online
British American Tobacco fell 6.5 per cent after an Oregon jury awarded a record $81m damages against its larger rival Philip Morris. The company faces a separate problem in Australia, where the antitrust regulator raised objections to its acquisition of Rothmans International.

While that decision represents a considerable setback, the Oregon ruling has more serious and widespread implications for tobacco companies generally. The jury found that Philip Morris was responsible for the death of a 67-year-old man who had smoked for 42 years. The verdict, which tops a $51.5m award in February, could encourage more lawsuits.