The Global 1000

Meet the market-cap monsters, including a host of new tech titans

When British cellular giant Vodafone AirTouch PLC acquired Germany's Mannesmann in February, it paid about $12,400 for each of its rival's telecom customers. Analysts thought Vodafone CEO Chris Gent way overpaid--but Gent didn't stop there. Scarcely three months after the $183 billion hostile takeover of Mannesmann, he spent an eye-popping $8.7 billion for one of the highly coveted next-generation mobile-phone licenses in Britain.

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