The latest snag delaying the First Security Corp. merger with Zions Bancorp is a Securities and Exchange Commission rule whose interpretation has befuddled executives of both banking companies as well as many analysts.

The SEC contends that Zions violated a government policy limiting to 10% the amount of outstanding shares that could be bought back in a pooling-of-interests merger. The SEC claims that during the last three years Zions bought back more than 10% of its stock while engaging in multiple transactions.

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