Into U.S. District Court in Philadelphia last week crowded more than 80 lawyers, intent on making the best deal possible with the Government in one of the biggest antitrust suits in U.S. history.

They represented 29 manufacturers of electrical equipment—including such big names as General Electric. Westinghouse and Allis-Chalmers—and 48 present or former executives of those companies. All were charged by the Government with criminally conspiring to rig bids and fix prices in the sale of $7 billion worth of heavy electrical equipment over the last seven years.

The lawyers had taken a hard look at the evidence in the cases...

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