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Fla. AG in antitrust probe of voting-machine firms

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's attorney general is investigating whether the sale of a voting-machine maker to a rival concentrates too much power in one company.

Attorney-General Bill McCollum confirmed Wednesday that his office was conducting the antitrust probe. He issued a statement after several voting rights groups sent him a letter calling for an inquiry.

Diebold Inc. of North Canton, Ohio, in September sold its Allen, Texas-based subsidiary Premier Election Solutions Inc. to Election Systems & Software Inc. of Omaha, Neb.

A spokeswoman for ES&S had no comment on the Florida probe.

A U.S. Senate panel is looking into the sale and New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer has asked the Justice Department to review the deal for potential harm to elections.

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