Union Pacific's Uphill Haul

Foes say its bid for Southern Pacific is anticompetitive

Exulting over a major legislative victory last December, Union Pacific Corp. chief Drew Lewis let his guard down. For months, Lewis had been engaged in an all-out lobbying battle to convince Congress to create an independent board to review railroad mergers. Convinced that such a board would be more likely to approve his controversial $5.4 billion bid for Southern Pacific Rail Corp. than the trustbusters at the Justice Dept., Lewis left little to chance: From making UP's pitch directly to House Speaker Newt Gingrich to attending obscure subcommittee meetings, Lewis personally led UP's legions of lobbyists.

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