Antitrust: Derailing a Merger

Derailing a Merger

The corporate stationery had been changed. The quarterly report spoke of "a dynamic future" for "two strong, compatible companies." Indeed, the 1983 merger of the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railways was a done deal. Well, almost done. After pondering the matter for 2 1/2 years, the Interstate Commerce Commission unexpectedly rejected the merger last week, declaring that it would be anti-competitive. Had the deal been approved, Santa Fe Southern would have become the third largest railroad in track miles (25,000), behind Burlington Northern and CSX.

Although the ICC ruling was a shock to Santa Fe officials, the Chicago- based company...

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