GOVERNMENT: Package Deals

While the U.S. packaging industry has grown larger and larger—multiplying its volume sixfold in the past quarter-century —the number of companies has grown smaller and smaller. Last week the Justice Department struck hard at the industry's urge to merge. In an antitrust suit filed against Owens-Illinois Glass Co., it asked that the No. 1 U.S. glass-container maker (1955 sales: $370 million) be forced to sell off National Container Corp., the No. 3 paper-container maker (1955 sales: $95 million), acquired in a stock swap last October.

The trustbusters charged that the merger had made Owens-Illinois the top U.S. producer of shipping containers,...

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