The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • G. Meeks
Reference work entry


In any one year it is not uncommon in the US or the UK for firms representing one per cent of the assets of the company sector to be acquired by others in a merger or takeover (in economic, if not in legal, terms the two are often indistinguishable). In one of the cyclical peaks in merger activity the figure has risen to almost three per cent in the US (Federal Trade Commission 1977; Scherer 1980) and five per cent in the UK (Singh 1975). For the acquiring firms, growth by merger can be a very significant form of expansion: to take an extreme example, UK listed companies in aggregate spent more in 1968 on acquiring second-hand assets through merger than they did on new fixed investment (Meeks 1977).

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Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Meeks
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