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Merrill CEO's Merger Chat Raises Legal Issues

Law360 (October 26, 2007, 12:00 AM EDT) -- It's been a rough few weeks for Merrill Lynch & Co. CEO E. Stanley O'Neal. Not only did his bank announce an $8 billion write-down, but news that he approached Wachovia Corp. about a possible merger without consulting the company's board of directors led to speculation that his ousting was imminent, and sparked talk about the need for more clarity concerning the obligations of CEOs in deal-making situations.

Driven by disastrous third-quarter results that included a $2.3 billion loss in the quarter due to a $7.9...
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