The Federal Reserve Board on Monday gave a group of big banking companies permission to acquire H&S Holding Co. and merge the ATM networks operated by Honor Technologies Inc. and Star Systems Inc.

The Fed said the deal, which would give the companies control over ATM network services in 20 states and the District of Columbia, does not violate antitrust laws, because banks may bypass regional networks and belong to only a national network.

The banking companies involved were BankAmerica Corp., First Union Corp., Sun Trust Banks Inc., Wachovia Corp., Banc West Corp., BB&T Corp., and Zions Bancorp.

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