U.S. Business: Settling an Account

By a short 30 minutes, the Justice Department failed in 1961 in its bid to block a merger between New York's Manufacturers Trust Co. and the Hanover Bank. Aware that Justice viewed the merger as a violation of the antitrust laws, the banks speeded up their negotiations, legally joined to form the nation's fourth largest bank half an hour before the trustbusters filed suit to stop the action. Faced with a fait accompli, a federal judge refused to consider the Justice Department's bid for a restraining order. Furious over the maneuver, particularly since the two banks had not discussed their plans...

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