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Fidelity set to be largest title insurer

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The last major obstacle to Fidelity National Financial Inc.'s $282 million acquisition of LandAmerica Financial Group Inc.'s two largest underwriting subsidiaries fell at midnight Thursday, as federal antitrust regulators allowed a legal waiting period to expire without intervening in the deal. The waiting period is a requirement for large mergers and acquisitions, imposed by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. By allowing the waiting period to expire without requesting further information about the deal, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice signaled their approval of Fidelity's plan to acquire Lawyers Title Insurance Corp. and Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co. The deal -- announced in conjunction with LandAmerica's Nov. 26 filling for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection -- puts Fidelity on course to become the nation's largest title insurance underwriter, with a roughly 45 percent market share. Together, Fidelity and current indus...