Public Policy: Nine Counts Against 3M

Few U.S. companies better personify corporate achievement than St. Paul's Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co., known for short as "3M." Sales of 3M products ranging from Scotch tape to missile-tracking components have skyrocketed from $4,700,000 in 1931 to $549,700,000 last year. Hundreds of U.S. investors who put their trust—and dollars —in research-minded 3M have blossomed with new wealth as the company's stock soared, split and soared again.

Last week, bringing criminal charges against the company, the Justice Department contended that hard work and imaginative research did not constitute the whole story of...

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