One for The Books

In rejecting Paramount's challenge to the Time-Warner deal, a judge affirms the right of directors to determine the fate of their companies

For two hours last Friday morning, more than 40 lawyers, reporters and Wall Street speculators camped outside a quiet office in the Delaware Court of Chancery in Wilmington. They were anxiously awaiting the outcome of one of the most intensely watched corporate takeover fights in the 197-year history of the court. When clerks appeared at 10:30 with copies of Chancellor William Allen's 79-page ruling, the aggressive crowd tore the documents from the court officials' hands. Dialing their offices, moneymen shouted into their cellular phones, "The Time-Warner merger is on!"

The hectic scene marked the latest and most dramatic stage of a...

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