Sallie Mae Bid Scrutinized For AntitrustImplications

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - (01/27/05) -- The Pennsylvania attorney general isreviewing student loan giant Sallie Mae's controversial offer toacquire the state-run student loan agency for antitrustimplications. "That's something, as a matter of course, that ourantitrust section would do," a spokesman for the attorney general'soffice said. Under the proposed deal, Sallie Mae, the nation'slargest student lender with $105 billion in assets and a 7% shareof the student loan market in Pennsylvania, would acquire thePennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, the state'slargest student lender with a 21% market share. Among the issues tobe reviewed are whether the combination would give Sallie Maevirtual price-setting control on student loans in the KeystoneState. The board of PHEAA rejected out of hand Sallie Mae's $1billion offer, promoting Sallie Mae executives to solicit supportdirectly form the state legislature, which controls the stateagency. The state legislature has the power to override the PHEAAboard decision.

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