The world’s richest man, Bill Gates, agreed to pay an $800,000 civil penalty to settle charges he violated merger reporting requirements on an investment he made, officials said.

The Justice Department said the deal for Gates to pay the $800,000 fine involved Gates’s personal investment company and was not related to Microsoft, the company he co-founded and which has had its own antitrust litigation.

According to officials, Gates acquired more than 50 million dollars of the voting securities of biotech firm ICOS Corporation in 2002 without complying with antitrust pre-merger notification requirements.

Gates did not qualify for the “solely for the purpose of investment” exemption to those notification requirements because he intended to participate in the business decisions of ICOS as a member of the board of directors.

Officials said the action violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 that imposes notification and waiting period requirements on individuals and companies over a certain size before they can buy stock or assets valued at more than 50 million dollars.

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