updated 1/14/2005 9:05:41 AM ET 2005-01-14T14:05:41

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is seeking a $750 million settlement from insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. to settle his bid-rigging and price-fixing charges, according to a report published Friday.

The Wall Street Journal said that Marsh & McLennan has offered to pay $600 million, but that Spitzer's office is seeking $150 million more than that "and a public statement of contrition."

The paper did not name its sources but said they were "people privy to the talks."

Last year there were reports that Marsh & McLennan had offered to pay $500 million to settle the lawsuit launched by Spitzer on Oct. 14. Spitzer said at the time that the settlement would be "far higher."

Much of Spitzer's case has revolved around "contingent commissions," which are fees that insurance companies paid in exchange for more business from Marsh & McLennan. Marsh & McLennan earned $1.2 billion in these incentive fees in the 18 months ended last June.

After the lawsuit was filed, Marsh & McLennan eliminated contingent commissions, replaced most of its senior management and adopted new operating guidelines.

Spitzer, a Democrat who has been the state's attorney general since 1998, announced on Dec. 7 that he will run for governor of New York in 2006. Republican George Pataki currently has the post.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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