CORPORATIONS: IRS v. ITT

ITT's acquisition of Hartford Fire Insurance Co. nearly four years ago has long been a financial and political cause célèbre. It was the biggest merger in American corporate history, and has been the subject of furious controversy concerning the circumstances under which the Justice Department settled an antitrust suit that had sought to break up the combination. Last week, after the dispute had finally faded, the Internal Revenue Service suddenly revived it.The IRS had paved the way for the merger in the first place by ruling that the insurance company's owners did not have to pay capital gains...

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