The battle for control of Great Western Financial Corp. focused on legal technicalities Wednesday as investors awaited more hard data on the two bids for the big thrift.

Analysts said it may be difficult for H.F. Ahmanson & Co. to match Washington Mutual Inc.'s agreement to buy Chatsworth, Calif.-based Great Western, so Ahmanson was doing its utmost to put its white-knight rival on the defensive.

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