updated 4/24/2006 1:50:03 PM ET 2006-04-24T17:50:03

Wal-Mart has agreed to pay up to $1.5 million to settle claims that its merchandise did not carry price tags as state law requires in Michigan, Attorney General Mike Cox said Monday.

Cox’s announcement came nearly two months after his office filed a notice of intended action against the retailer when an investigation found four Michigan stores had price tags on just 20 percent to 25 percent of their items.

“This far-reaching and innovative settlement will help assure continued item pricing compliance by Wal-Mart,” Cox said at a news conference. “It is my hope also that it will serve as a notice to other Michigan retailers that violation of Michigan’s item pricing laws will not be tolerated.”

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will pay a $750,000 fine and $30,000 to reimburse the state for the cost of the probe, the government said. It also has agreed to donate $100,000 to Michigan food banks.

Wal-Mart will pay $620,000 in a separate account to cover the cost of independent audits. The retailer could get a portion of the $620,000 back in two years if the audits show its Michigan stores are meeting compliance goals.

Michigan is the only state in the nation that requires price tags on almost every item in stores. If consumers are charged more than the price marked, they can demand the difference plus 10 times the amount of the difference, up to $5.

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