Same Old Feeding Frenzy, Different Bait

Dealmania is back. At least that's the buzz on Wall Street, where mergers-and-acquisitions wizards are honing their "highly confident" letters and getting reacquainted with their late-night pizza-delivery services. Deals announced in the past few weeks alone have included two of the largest-ever cable-TV buys, a railroad gigamerger, and a $13 billion hookup in the cellular industry. Overall, M&A activity in the U.S. is up a sizzling 46% over last year, on track to post the third-biggest total in history. "We're at the start of the next great merger wave," says Joseph H. Flom, the guru of Wall Street takeover lawyers.

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