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Alliance, NASD in Talks Over Directed Brokerage

Alliance Capital Management Holding and Alliance Capital Management have entered into settlement discussions with the National Association of Securities Dealers about previous sales practices and disclosures concerning directed-brokerage commissions in Alliance Capital's mutual fund distribution unit.

The discussions, which began March 11, are expected to put an end to the matter.

Alliance Capital recorded a $5 million charge against 2004 earnings related to the expected settlement. Because of this, net income per Alliance Holding unit share slid to $2.43 from the $2.45 previously reported for the year ended Dec. 31, 2004.

Alliance reached a $600 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in December 2003, with $350 million of that a 20% reduction in fees over five years.