Call The Doctor: M&A Fever Is Back

With the sudden resurgence of merger mania, 1993 is shaping up as the biggest year for mergers and acquisitions since the rock 'em, sock 'em 1980s. In the third quarter, the value of the 1,631 deals announced was $87.4 billion--the most put on the table since 1989.

What's behind the trend? Big changes in the entertainment, drug, and telecommunications industries precipitated huge deals, including the QVC and Viacom offers for Paramount, AT&T's $17.6 billion purchase of McCaw Cellular, and Merck's $6 billion acquisition of Medco. The soaring stock market also helps: 68% of the quarter's activity took the form of stock swaps.