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2016 sees third largest number of M&As ever

Friday, December 30, 2016 - 01:30

A telecommunications carrier seeks to become a TV network and movie studio owner, while a major software company acquires one of the world's largest social networks. These are some of the major merger and acquisitions which took place in 2016 as Laura Frykberg reports.

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2016 was a year of major mergers. The biggest - AT&T's purchase of Time Warner. For a whopping 85.4 billion-dollars. The telecommunications giant bidding to become a TV network and movie studio owner. Another, Microsoft's 26 billion-dollar acquisition of LinkedIn. Not to mention Samsung Electronics's, which bought Harman International Industries. So what's behind the trend? Some say it's a reaction to the financial climate. (SOUNDBITE) (English) Senior EM FUND MANAGER FOR SOMERSET CAPITAL, EDWARD LAM SAYING: "When rates are as low as they have been financing is very cheap, and that makes corporate consolidation relatively cheap. And also there has been a lack of real investment and capex and that means the activity that we have has been in M&A instead of real investment." Not all mergers were successful though. The U.S. government blocked Pfizer's attempted merger with its Irish peer, Allergan. Accusing the U.S. pharmaceutical company of trying to dodge tax. Office supply chain Staples was also stopped from acquiring a smaller rival. A U.S. judge ruled it would be anti-competitive. But of couse all that was under the Obama administration. The next president is far more protectionist. And that could have an impact on future corporate consolidation.

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2016 sees third largest number of M&As ever

Friday, December 30, 2016 - 01:30