Bigger Yes, But Better?

As the merger wave rolls on, matchmakers learn from past mistakes

It is 1999, and by this time every company west of the Mississippi will have merged into one giant corporation known as Samson Securities. Every company east of the Mississippi will have merged under an umbrella corporation known as the Delilah Co.

So wrote Humorist Art Buchwald 19 years ago, during the last big wave of corporate mergers. These days the prospect that he wryly foresaw seems considerably less farfetched. In recent months such household names as ABC, TWA and Nabisco have agreed to sell out to other firms and cease to be independent enterprises. They will follow Bendix, Gulf Oil,...

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