Business Mergers and Antitrust

Archive Report

Boom in Business Mergers

Recent Record-Size Mergers and Rulings

On Jan. 8, the Justice Department announced it was ending the two biggest antitrust actions in American history, the suits against American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T)1—the world's largest company—and International Business Machines (IBM), the giant computer manufacturer. The announcements came just one day after news of the second-biggest merger in American history, U.S. Steel's takeover of Marathon Oil, and less than six months after the country's largest merger ever—the acquisition of Conoco by Du Pont. The Du PontConoco takeover helped make 1981 a record year in a merger wave that began to sweep the country in the mid-1970s, and if the latest news is any indication, 1982 could end up breaking all previous highs.

Economic analysts disagree about ...

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