Unum, Mohawk on Fortune 500 list

With nearly $13.2 billion of revenues last year, the Chattanooga-based Unum Group ranked as the 230th biggest U.S. company in the 2021 Fortune 500 list of America's biggest businesses released Wednesday. Unum, the world's biggest disability insurer, jumped from 266 last year to 230 this year in the annual Fortune 500 ranking and was among 10 businesses in Tennessee and 16 in Georgia that were among the 500 biggest U.S. firms.

Mohawk Industries, which is headquartered in Calhoun, Georgia, ranked No. 321 on the newest Fortune 500 listings. Resolute Forest in Calhoun, Tennessee ranked 783 on the extended Fortune list of the biggest companies.

The other Tennessee companies on the Fortune 500 list included FedEx, No. 45; HCA Healthcare, No.62; Dollar General, No. 91; International Paper, No. 141; AutoZone, No. 238; Community Health Systems, No. 259; Tractor Supply, No. 291; Eastman Chemical, No. 355, and Delek US Holdings, No. 397.

The biggest companies in the U.S., in order, are Walmart, Amazon and Apple. according to Fortune.


FEC fines Enquirer for helping Trump

A federal election watchdog fined the publisher of the National Enquirer $187,500 for squelching the story of a former Playboy model who claimed she'd had an affair with former President Donald Trump.

The Federal Election Commission fined A360 Media, formerly known as American Media, for paying Karen McDougal $150,000 in August 2016, saying the payment was made to keep her story from becoming public before the presidential election.

The FEC said the publisher's "payment to Karen McDougal to purchase a limited life story right combined with its decision not to publish the story, in consultation with an agent of Donald J. Trump and for the purpose of influencing the election, constituted a prohibited corporate in-kind contribution."

Campaign finance laws prohibit corporations from cooperating with a campaign to affect an election.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan agreed in 2018 not to prosecute American Media in exchange for its cooperation in a campaign finance investigation. That probe led to a three-year prison term for Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who had urged the publisher to obtain the rights to McDougal's story and promised to reimburse them for the payment.


Kentucky sues CVS over opioid addictions

Kentucky's attorney general on Wednesday sued CVS Health, accusing its pharmacy chain of flooding the state with prescription opioids that contributed to the state's addiction woes.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed the lawsuit in Franklin County Circuit Court in Kentucky's capital city. Cameron says the health care company played a role in "fueling the crisis" by inundating the state with millions of doses of powerful prescription painkillers. The state is seeking civil penalties and punitive damages in the suit.

"As both distributor and pharmacy, CVS was in a unique position to monitor and stop the peddling of these highly-addictive drugs from their stores, yet they ignored their own safeguard systems," Cameron said in a news release.

In 2015, drug overdoses accounted for about 60% of Kentucky's statewide accidental deaths, Cameron said. The Republican attorney general is pressing lawsuits against several opioid manufacturers and distributors. Many of those suits were filed by Cameron's predecessor, Democrat Andy Beshear, who is now Kentucky's governor.

CVS Health, which operates one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, said it's prepared to defend itself against the state's allegations.

"Opioids are made and marketed by drug manufacturers, not pharmacies," the company said.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner