Conflict ignited Friday over Wachovia Corp. after the bank announced a deal to sell itself to Wells Fargo & Co. for $15 billion despite a pact it had agreed to in principle with Citigroup Inc. earlier in the week.

But Citigroup said any transaction between Wachovia and Wells Fargo would be in "clear breach" of an exclusivity agreement it had signed with Wachovia. Citigroup may take legal action against the banks or may increase its offer, according to published reports.

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