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Avon says the SEC is seeking hefty penalty

Avon had previously offered to pay $12 million to settle bribery allegations.

Associated Press/File

Avon had previously offered to pay $12 million to settle bribery allegations.

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Avon said the SEC is proposing a much larger penalty to settle allegations of bribery in China than the company expected. It also said its business could be hurt by such a penalty. The news came as the beauty products company reported a third-quarter loss, reflecting lower sales in North America and the Asia Pacific region and China-related charges. It lost $5.5 million, or a penny per share, compared with net income of $31.6 million, or 7 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2012.

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