8. Why We Waste $1,200,000,000,000 a Year: Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Culture, and Communication

Companies don’t grow to a massive size all by themselves. Nearly every company in the world with more than 10,000 employees (and many that are smaller than that) have either merged with or acquired another company, or many. This activity, called mergers and acquisitions (M&A for short), is one of the most important and difficult processes in business.

Every year, about $2 trillion worth of M&A activity occurs. Some of this activity is truly epic in scale, with gargantuan deals such as AOL’s acquisition of Time Warner for $164.7 billion in 2000 standing out not just for its monstrous size but also for its monumental failure. Failure in M&A ...

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