Business: A Marriage in Weakness

Steel jobs saved, but obsolescence continues

The Justice Department was in no mood to be bluffed, even by troubled steelmakers, and talks dragged on and on in a months-long game of high-stakes political poker. Ever since last November, steel conglomerates LTV Corp. and Lykes Corp. have argued fiercely that the only alternative to their planned merger was Lykes' bankruptcy and the layoff of thousands of steelworkers. But antitrust officials objected that even the marriage of two money losers. LTV's Jones & Laughlin and Lykes' Youngstown Sheet and Tube, would reduce steel competition. In...

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