NORWALK, Conn. -The Financial Accounting Standards Board on Wednesday considered ways to ease the blow of prohibiting merging companies from "pooling" their assets.

The agency's plan to eliminate the pooling-of-interests method of accounting for mergers has drawn fierce criticism, mainly because the alternative - purchase accounting - requires a combined company to write goodwill off over 20 years. (Goodwill is the difference between the price paid and the fair values of the assets and liabilities.) Critics have countered that goodwill should only be written off if there is evidence that its value has decreased.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.