Business: Trustbusters' Bust

When Fair Deal trustbusters three years ago charged nine of the biggest U.S. paint companies with conspiring to fix prices, seven of the accused pleaded nolo contendere and paid $5,000 fines apiece. Only E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and the Glidden Co. decided to fight the charge. During a 50-day jury trial in Pittsburgh's federal district court, Du Pont and Glidden argued that they had exchanged price information but had not fixed prices. Their licensing of patents on lacquer, they insisted, was well within the law.

Last week the jury brought in its verdict: not guilty. Glidden's President Dwight...

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