U.S. OTA F.A.Q(s)
Merger and acquisition activity in the United States has typically run in cycles, with peaks coinciding with periods of strong business growth. U.S. merger activity has been marked by five prominent waves: one around the turn of the twentieth century, the second peaking in 1929, the third in the latter half of the 1960s, the fourth in the first half of the 1980s, and the fifth in the latter half of the 1990s.
This last peak, in the final years of the twentieth century, brought very high levels of merger activity. Bolstered by a strong stock market, businesses merged at an unprecedented rate. The total dollar volume of mergers increased throughout the 1990s, setting new records each year from 1994 to 1999. Many of the acquisitions involved huge companies and enormous dollar amounts. Disney acquired ABC Capital Cities for $19 billion, Bell Atlantic acquired Nynex for $22 billion, World com acquired MCI for $41.9 billion, SBC Communications acquired Ameritech for $56.6 billion, Traveler's acquired Citicorp for $72.6 billion, Nation Bank acquired Bank of America for $61.6 billion, Daimler-Benz acquired Chrysler for $39.5 billion, and Exxon acquired Mobil for $77.2 billion.