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LUNGREN COMPLETES ANTITRUST REVIEW; CLEARS BANKAMERICA-SECURITY PACIFIC MERGER

 LUNGREN COMPLETES ANTITRUST REVIEW;
 CLEARS BANKAMERICA-SECURITY PACIFIC MERGER
 SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Dan Lungren announced today that BankAmerica Corp. is divesting 52 branches in the State of California, representing over $2 billion in deposits, to satisfy the Attorney General's antitrust concerns over the bank's proposed merger with Security Pacific Corp.
 Based upon BankAmerica's commitment to complete this expanded divestiture program, the Attorney General has concluded that the proposed merger can go forward without impairing competition in banking markets in California. The bank's divestiture agreement with the State of California clears the way for further review by the Federal Reserve Board.
 "This merger, as originally proposed, raised substantive competitive concerns for several banking markets in California. On Feb. 28, the U.S Department of Justice cleared the proposed merger after negotiating the divestiture of 38 branches in California. However, that divestiture was not sufficient to satisfy our antitrust concerns. After completing negotiations that will in part result in the additional divestiture of 14 additional branches, our state antitrust concerns have been satisfied," said Lungren.
 "We are pleased that these concerns could be resolved without litigation. The agreement we have reached includes a divestiture plan that will permit the merger to be consummated, while preserving competition in the banking markets throughout our state," said Lungren.
 The agreement provides for divestiture of branches in markets where the Attorney General concluded that the merger might otherwise have impaired competition. The agreement also requires divestiture to a purchaser acceptable to the Attorney General, ensuring that a strong competitor will enter those markets.
 The expanded divestiture package includes 14 branches in addition to those previously announced in connection with federal antitrust approval. The United States Department of Justice announced on Feb. 28 that it would not object to the merger based upon the more limited divestiture package. However, that package, and the expanded divestiture announced today, are the product of intensive collaboration between state and federal antitrust authorities.
 "The cooperation our office received from the federal government and from the other states involved was instrumental in achieving this result, and may be looked upon as a model for future antitrust cases," the Attorney General stated.
 "I would especially like to commend the persistent, comprehensive and professional service performed by California Deputy Attorney General Jesse Markham. With his personal attention on this matter, our office's antitrust investigation of the merger involved hundreds of hours of attorney and other staff time. During the course of this review, hundreds of thousands of documents were obtained and analyzed. The state also conducted an extensive survey of the markets to determine the extent of competition, and those results were reviewed with economists and other experts. BankAmerica has agreed to pay certain costs in connection with Lungren's investigation.
 -0- 3/11/92
 /CONTACT: Jesse W. Markham Jr., of the California Attorney General's Office, 415-703-2133/ CO: California Attorney General's Office ST: California IN: FIN SU: TNM


DG -- SF017 -- 7574 03/11/92 19:20 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 11, 1992
Words:495
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