(June 23) Baltimore's U.S. District Court has approved a $1.1 billion settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by shareholders against Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Royal Ahold NV.

Ahold announced that the court issued a final order and judgment okaying the settlement, which covers the firm, its subsidiaries and affiliates, individual defendants and underwriters.

According to Bloomberg News, the deal represents the most money ever paid by a European company to settle U.S. fraud charges.

The suit stemmed from Ahold's 2003 profit overstatements, most of which occurred at it's Columbia, Md.-based U.S. Foodservice Inc. subsidiary.