The Federal Reserve Board on Monday approved Amsouth Bancorp's acquisition of First American Corp.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Amsouth will be forced to divest a single branch with $41.4 million of deposits in Rhea County, Tenn. The Fed said it closely scrutinized four markets in Tennessee and Georgia and found no other instance of potential monopoly.

Noting protests by community activists, the Fed said that Amsouth and Nashville-based First American have "satisfactory" Community Reinvestment Act ratings.

The $6.3 billion merger, which was announced June 1, is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The combined entity would have $40.6 billion of assets, operate in nine states, and be the 22nd-largest commercial banking company in the country.

-- Dean Anason

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