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Business Week reports that the price that Wal-Mart may be paying for its astounding growth and success over the past few years is the increased attention it is getting from the media, litigators and the federal government.

Whether it is allegations that it allowed the hiring and underpaying of illegal immigrants to clean its stores, or used predatory pricing to put independent gas stations out of business, or practiced gender discrimination - the atmosphere in which Wal-Mart currently operates isn't as friendly as just a few years ago, and the company no longer necessarily seen as a folksy, benign reflection of American values.

The magazine concludes that while so far all these allegations haven’t affected sales or stock price, Wal-Mart has to be careful about becoming either a legitimate target or whipping boy. "If it isn't careful, Wal-Mart could take Microsoft's place as both the target of endless government probes and a symbol of heavy-handed corporate practices," Business Week writes.
KC's View:
While we get our share of email from people who think we're picking on Wal-Mart, this is the point we're generally trying to make - that Wal-Mart may be reaching a critical point in its history because of all the increased attention.