Report: JPMorgan Could Up Bear Offer

(AP Photo/Jin Lee, File)
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New York (AP) JPMorgan Chase is reportedly discussing a deal that would sharply increase its buyout bid for Bear Stearns to 10 dollars a share, from two dollars a share.

The New York Times says the talks are aimed at satisfying Bear Stearns shareholders who are upset over the lower offer. The fed would have to sign off on any new agreement, but the newspaper reports the government is balking at the new price.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan is making it tough for third parties to launch potential bids for the struggling investment bank.

A filing with the securities and exchange commission shows JPMorgan can acquire nearly 20 percent of Bear Stearns stock for two dollars a share if the pending buyout doesn't go through. The move would make JPMorgan the biggest shareholder in bear and
essentially block any third-party offers.