BOSTON - A federal court judge here appears likely to substantially reduce and perhaps dismiss a lawsuit which challenges the independence of Fidelity Investments' mutual fund directors.

U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris said there appears to be no law which supports investor Richard Krantz's effort to challenge the fees Fidelity charges all of its funds when Krantz owns shares of only two Fidelity funds, Equity Income II and Value. Saris also repeatedly expressed doubts about allegations that Fidelity's directors lost their independence because of the fees they received for serving on the boards of trustees of more than 200 Fidelity funds.

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