Former Vivendi Universal chairman Jean-Marie Messier hasgiven up his bid for a $25m severance package from the company, after beingforced by US regulators to relinquish claims to such a golden parachute.

Messier had been seeking indemnities he believed owed to himfollowing his resignation in 2002. After a New York court upheld Messier'sclaim, Vivendi continued to counter until a settlement was reached via theSecurities and Exchange Commission which had leveled charges against bothMessier and Vivendi Universal.

In a press release delivered just before Christmas, Vivendi saidthe SEC had charged the two parties with violating certain U.S. securitieslaws. In response, Vivendi Universal agreed to act within the law in futuredealings and to pay a civil penalty of $50m. As part of the settlement, Vivendineither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.

Messier, who had been charged with violations during his tenure atthe helm of Vivendi Universal, also settled and agreed to pay a $1m penalty andalso to abandon any claims against Vivendi Universal.