John Thain, the former Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. chief executive ousted from Bank of America Corp., said Merrill's yearend bonus pool shrank 41% from a year earlier and was much smaller than the deal with B of A allowed.

A B of A spokesman said Monday: "John Thain and the Merrill Lynch compensation committee made the decision on the amount and timing of yearend compensation at Merrill Lynch. We had no legal right to challenge it."

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