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The Biggest Mergers Of All Time

Here are five of the biggest business mergers of all time.

AT&T rejoins BellSouth: $86 billion

Sometimes it's hard to see why two companies merge and sometimes, like in the case of AT&T and BellSouth, it's not so hard. You see, both AT&T and BellSouth shared the same telecom provider - Cingular Wireless - and already owned 60% of it so it really made total sense. Fast forward a few years down the track when AT&T realised that televisions, computers and wireless were taking over from telecoms and AT&T managed to buy the remaining part 40% part of Cingular that BellSouth owned. 


Warner-Lambert and Pfizer: $89 billion

We all know that large pharmaceutical make an absolute fortune, and this merger proves just that. Although the merger of Pfizer and Warner-Lambert created the world's second-largest drug company, this wasn't quite the main driver for the merger. You see it all has to do with a top-selling cholesterol drug, Lipitor. Pfizer owned the commercial rights to it but they were having to split their profits with Warner-Lambert due to a licensing deal. When Warner-Lambert moved to sue Pfizer in 2009, Pfizer acquired Warner-Lambert to remove the risk of losing the jewel in their crown: Lipitor. 


Vodafone merges with Mannesmann: $180 billion


In the late 1990s, mobile phones were pretty much mainstream and with just a few main players in the UK market, service providers were a big thing. With that in mind, Vodafone made their bid to not only help seal their position in the market, but to become global so they spent $60 billion buying US company, AirTouch and then set their sights on German based telecom giant, Mannesmann. But Mannesmann played hardball and for months rejected Vodafone's offer to such an extend that finally Vodafone ended up almost doubling their initial bid to work out as $180 billion to seal the deal.