U.S. Business: Out at the Ballpark

Apparently unbothered by the Supreme Court's latest merger ruling, last week the board of Cleveland-based Stouffer Foods Corp. approved Litton Industries' buy-out offer of about $100 million. For Litton, which annually sells over a billion dollars' worth of products ranging from ships to space components, the Stouffer acquisition marks a second venture into consumer goods. The first was The Royal McBee typewriter company, which the sprawling West Coast company picked up in 1964.

Although Litton is the king of conglomerates, its Stouffer deal may smack of what Justice Douglas called "product extension." Litton is, among other things, the biggest maker of microwave...

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