Land of the Giants

P&G's megadeal with Gillette is just the latest in a new wave of merger mania. Investors beware

Forget the accounting scandals, the CEOs fending off fraud charges, the churning stock market. The business world has become obsessed with corporate nuptials. Merger mania is back, executives are cashing out and, if history is any guide, investors should be running for cover. A couple of months ago, Kmart and Sears got engaged. Then Nextel and Sprint announced their $35 billion wedding. Johnson & Johnson is buying Guidant, a maker of medical devices, for $24 billion. Two of the splashiest deals came last week: SBC, the Baby Bell based in San Antonio, Texas, looked poised to swallow its former parent, AT&T,...

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