This year's merger merry-go-round is getting to be more like a losing game of musical chairs for officials of Banc One: When the music stops and a deal is announced, it seems the Ohio bank company is always among the ones left standing.

This month alone, Banc One remained on the sidelines as Fourth Financial Corp., Firstier Financial Corp., and Integra Financial Corp. - institutions Banc One was known to covet - were sold to other suitors.

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