ITEM: In September 1994, the U.S. enacts the interstate banking and branching law, commonly called Riegle-Neal. The objective: to maintain essentially the same framework that has existed for nearly 100 years, but bring it up to date and eliminate redundant costs in the system so that banks can operate on a more level playing field with their new nonbank competitors.

ITEM: In October 1994, Microsoft Corp., the world's leading manufacturer of personal computer operating systems and software applications, announces that it will pay $1.5 billion, or about a 100% price premium for Intuit, developer of the popular Quicken personal finance software. Microsoft, with its DOS and Windows products, owns a channel for software suppliers reaching more than 60 million personal computers in the United States. The announced purchase of Intuit, combined with the planned Microsoft Network, provides the company with an immediate opportunity to expand the volume over its new electronic distribution channel.

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