Watching Government
Merger morass

Some disagreements are too deep for compromise, as BP Amoco PLC and ARCO have discovered in seeking US Federal Trade Commission approval of their $26.8 billion merger.Last week, FTC was considering filing a lawsuit to block the merger. BP Amoco had forced FTC's hand Jan. 15 by triggering a law that requires FTC to allow the merger or seek an injunction by Feb. 3.The companies announced BP Amoco's acquisition of ARCO last Apr. 1, saying merged operations would save them $1 billion/year.Despite lengthy negotiations, the companies and FTC have been unable to agree what divestitures are needed to maintain competition.FTC has won some major lawsuits in recent years, but this one would ...

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