ANTITRUST: Fighting for the Wheel

In 1971 it seemed simple. The Justice Department decided that a rash of acquisitions by ITT, the big conglomerate, did violence to the antitrust laws. Justice decreed that the firm could keep the Hartford Fire Insurance Co. and some smaller firms if it would divest itself of Avis, the nation's No. 2 car-rental firm, within three years. Since then the effort to sell off Avis has become bogged down in byzantine legal maneuvering that, if nothing else, sharply underscores the difficulties of pursuing a vigorous antitrust policy.

Last week Avis' status was...

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