Chicago (March 12, 2002) -- PricewaterhouseCoopers has the inside track over Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in negotiations to acquire troubled Big Five rival Andersen, according to a top-ranking industry consultant.

Allan Koltin, president of Chicago-based Practice Development Institute, said the three accounting firms and federal regulators are discussing scenarios under which either PwC or D&T could acquire Andersen and be shielded from any liability Andersen has from lawsuits or government penalties related to its audit of the collapsed Enron Corp.

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