Global Policy Forum

Archived Articles on Worldwide Mergers and Acquisitions


Worldwide Mergers and Acquisitions

General Articles on Mergers | Industry Mergers | Financial Sector Mergers


General Articles



Back to Current Articles | 2001 | 2000 | 1998 - 1999

European Union Merger Rules Presented for Review (December 11, 2001)
Europe's Competition Commissioner Mario Monti launches a wide-ranging debate on merger regulation, the advent of the euro, globalization and numerous other issues. (The Daily Deal)

Cooperating Over Competition (November 2001)
"When the turnover of large multinationals exceeds the GDP of medium-sized countries, corporate decisions can have a decisive influence on the daily life of hundreds of thousands of workers and millions of consumers world-wide," argues Mario Monti. Only through competition policy can the interests of consumers and, more broadly, of citizens, be protected. (Project Syndicate)


Merger Endgames (July 2001)
Regardless of industry, consolidation activity follows a distinct pattern, according to a study conducted by A.T. Kearney. It progresses through four phases of different lengths. And the number of mergers varies in reverse proportion to the extent of consolidation. (Transnationale)



Concentration Requires Regulation, Says UNCTAD (October 3, 2000)

UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2000 adds to the slowly growing chorus of voices saying that economic globalization–-as evidenced by the current wave of international mergers--needs a global competition policy. (Inter Press Service)

FDI to Exceed 1 Trillion Dollars (October 3, 2000)

UNCTAD has released the 2000 World Investment Report, addressing Foreign Direct Investment flows, activities of Transnational Corporations and the rising number of Mergers & Acquisitions. (Inter Press Service)

Business Climate a Whirlwind of Mergers (September 16, 2000)

Size does matter. More than 33,000 mergers and acquisitions deals – equalling $3.4 trillion in assets – were conducted this year. This is indicative of a trend that is not likely to slow down, reports the Nando Times.

Mahathir Concerned Over Emerging World Monopolies (March 16, 2000)

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad of Malaysia expresses concern at UNCTAD X over the plans of corporations in some industries to take advantage of liberalization and globalization through mergers and acquisitions."(Australian Coalition for Economic Justice)

Trustbusters: A History Lesson (February 15, 2000)

The BBC gives a history of the trustbuster tradition in the United States, concluding that the US has enforced seemingly tough anti-trust legislation haphazardly and that companies have sometimes used it to their advantage.

Keep an Eye on the Monopolists (January 12, 2000)

An article from the Los Angeles Times discussing the trend toward mega-mergers in the US. The trend is putting "huge amounts of wealth into only a few pockets."

1998 - 1999

The Global Merger Wave (November 1999)

Ajit Singh and Rahul Dhumale discuss the implications for developing countries of the current wave of mergers. (South Centre)

Merge or Die (February 24, 1999)

Al-Ahram Weekly discusses a report that elaborates the dangers of post-GATT globalization to developing countries' industrial sectors. The report underscores the recent flurry of industrial mergers emanating from the industrialized countries.

Euro Will Increase Cross-Border Mergers & Acquisitions (January 1999)

In a paper commenting on the tremendous opportunities for improved corporate governance, enhanced accountability, and greater returns across the burgeoning markets of Europe, Pensions Investment Research Consultants predicts a spate of cross-border mergers and acquisitions after the introduction of the euro.

Giant Corporations, Dwarf States (June 1998)

An article by Ignacio Ramonet from the Le Monde diplomatique (English edition) on how the power of the state is in retreat before an onslaught of giant corporations. Ramonet tracks the explosive merger activity of the past several years and predicts ongoing merger activity for the future.

Faulty Analysis Makes Bad Economics (June 1998)

This comment on the WTO secretariat's report "Trade and Foreign Direct Investment" details the many ways in which the report is biased, and argues that such a non-objective document provides a good reason why the WTO is an inappropriate venue for a comprehensive and balanced discussion on a multilateral investment framework. (South-North Development Monitor)


Industry Mergers



WPP: World Propaganda Power (2nd quarter, 2001)

The PR industry has consolidated in the last 15 years as ad firms combined to better serve their increasingly multinational clients. Says PR Watch: "WPP is a potential powerhouse, a huge propaganda machine, with the reach and coordinated skills in people manipulation that might allow it to rule the hearts and minds of the entire global population."

Media Industry Moves to Eliminate and Weaken Ownership Rules (September 13, 2001)

Consolidation in the media industry over past decades created powerful corporate interest lobby groups. The Federal Communications Commission recently moved to weaken safeguards on further consolidation of media ownership. The Center for Digital Democracy argues that this move amounts to another digital "land grab" and that ownership diversity is more important than ever in an age of Internet convergence.

Denial and the Ravaging of Cyberspace (September 4, 2001)

Websites operated by just four corporations account for 50.4 percent of the time that US users of the Web are now spending online, reports the authoritative Jupiter Media Metrix research firm. (Alternet)

Competing Over Competition Policy (August 2001)

Joseph Stiglitz discusses the Bush Administration's move toward establishing protection for the US steel industry in the context of increasing monopolization in industry. He praises the EU for its integrity in blocking the GE-Honeywell merger and argues that a corporatist market economy too frequently masquerades as a free market economy. Based on Alcoa's example, Stiglitz argues: "what makes for good profits—creating global monopolies—does not make for good public policy." (Project Syndicate)


The Solution to Rising Gas Prices: Antitrust Action (July 7, 2000)

Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman argue that merger mania in the oil industry demands more government intervention in the market, in the style of the Microsoft breakup. The only other choice is anathema to big business: federal regulation. (Mother Jones)

Control Of Expression In Dwindling Number Of Hands (March 17, 2000)

An article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press discussing the recent mega-media mergers and how governments may be, ironically, the only bodies able to preserve a "free press".

AOL-Time Warner Merger (February 2000)

An in-depth discussion of the recent media mega-merger and what it portends for the future of the Internet as a forum for independent and diverse sources of information. (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Coalition Calls for Investigation of Exxon/Mobil Merger's Environmental Impacts (January 31, 2000)

A national coalition of 42 religious and environmental groups calls on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to conduct a review of the environmental impacts of merging the Exxon and Mobil oil companies. They are especially concerned with its potential impact on global warming. (Corpwatch)

"Vehicle Brand Owners" Will Dominate the Industry (January 7, 2000)

Analysts at PricewaterhouseCoopers predict that the "Second Automotive Century" will see vehicle manufacturers transform themselves into "Vehicle Brand Owners," sourcing much of their current work in coordination, sequencing, and vehicle assembly. Mergers will result in fewer than seven VBO's, say analysts, operating on something close to a global scale and dominating the industry.

1998 - 1999

Power of the World's True Masters (December 1999)

An analysis from Le Monde Diplomatique of the increasing power of transnational corporations as reflected by the concentration of capital in the top 200 companies. See table.

Hold On to Your Phone Bill, It's Merger Time (October 13, 1999)

Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman discuss the proposed merger of MCI WorldCom and Sprint in the context of other communications mergers. They detail the many consequences of increasing monopoly over a range of telecommunications services — long distance, local calls, cellular service, and internet access — as well as radio. (Mother Jones)

Mergers Sweep the Auto Industry (February 4, 1999)

Concentrating on Ford's purchase of Swedish-based Volvo, the World Socialist Web Site documents the many mergers in the auto industry and their likely effects. For workers dependent on the auto industry, mergers bring the certainty of increased workloads, less job security, and possible unemployment.

Bad Reception (November 25, 1998)

The San Francisco Bay Guardian explains how a wave of corporate consolidations has turned Bay Area radio into a bland wasteland. Deregulation has been responsible for severe cuts in ethnic and public programming.

Financial Sector Mergers


Back to Current Articles | 2001 | 2000 | 1999

Enron's Rise and Fall (December 24, 2001)

A commodity-trading firm in everything from electricity to financial derivatives, Enron filed for bankruptcy after its stock collapsed. The Nation argues that the fall of Enron may be the logical result of repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited commercial banks from merging with investment houses.

When the Predators Come Knocking (October 2001)

Ignoring opposition from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), the New York State Banking Department, and consumer advocates and community groups, federal authorities permitted major financial institutions Citigroup and ChaseManhattan Bank to acquire companies known for making predatory loans. The mergers are a dangerous precedent for other mainstream investment in predatory lending. (Multinational Monitor)


Bank Concentration: Cross-Country Evidence (October 2000)

World Bank economists analyze bank concentration accross a broad range of countries and conclude that it would be difficult to argue for or against bank concentration based on broad international comparisons. (World Bank)

Welcome to the World's Biggest Bank (September 29, 2000)

Still recovering from the financial crisis three years ago, Japan is experiencing a series of mega-mergers in the banking business, engineered by the government. But analysts see no silver lining to the cloud that still overhangs the sector. (Guardian)

Chase Manhattan to Buy J.P. Morgan for $36 billion (September 13, 2000)

In another mega-merger in the financial sector, Chase is set to take over J.P. Morgan, creating a the third-largest bank holding company in the United States. (Nando Times)


The Banking Jackpot (November 5, 1999)

Ralph Nader delivers a harsh critique of Financial Services Act of 1999, which abolished the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and opened the way for a wave of new mergers and acquisitions that created vastly larger and more powerful financial institutions. (Washington Post)

Mega-Mergers, Mega-Influence (October 26, 1999)

Jeffrey E. Garten, dean of the Yale School of Management and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade in the first Clinton Administration, argues that the concern with large mergers is their potential "unchecked political influence." (New York Times)

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