Mergers Are Back in Fashion—for Now

Companies spend freely to buy rivals as the global economy heals
Photo illustration by 731; Photographs by Thinkstock/Getty Images

After years of holding back as Europe lurched from crisis to crisis, the region’s companies are leading a global dealmaking comeback. Western European buyers announced $149 billion of acquisitions in the first three months of the year, a gain of almost 60 percent over the same period in 2013 and the biggest jump worldwide, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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