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Judge orders Macy’s, Penney, Martha Stewart into mediation


New York -- After nearly three weeks of testimony, a New York State Supreme Court Judge ordered Macy's, J.C. Penney Co. and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia into mediation to try and reach a settlement in their contract dispute trial.

If the three companies do not reach an agreement before April 8, the judge will resume hearing the case.

In another development in the ongoing dispute, Penney agreed not to sell certain Martha Stewart-designed goods (products deemed exclusive to Macy’s) until at least April 8.

Also, Stewart and Macy’s CEO Lundgren had "a productive conversation regarding the ongoing contract dispute," Martha Stewart Living said in statement released prior to the judge's order for mediation. It was the first time that the two former friends had spoken to each other since December 2011, when Lundgren testified he hung up on Stewart after she called to tell him about the deal.

"We view today's actions as a positive step forward and welcome a prompt and fair resolution," the statement added.

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