Mergers happened in the form of waves at different points in history. The causes of these waves have been discussed in existing literature, but there is no consensus on any common factors which might have caused these mergers. There is also a section of analysts which holds that merger waves are a thing of past and given the present regulatory environment, it would be impossible for such waves to occur. In the present paper, I present an account on the history of these merger waves right from the American Civil war, with a few references to the time of American Independence and the growth of railroads. I draw a common line between these mergers which point to similar economic states at the beginning and the end of these waves, pointing to the possibility of a common cause (and reasons for decline) for these waves. The title of the paper is representative of the idea that merger waves begin as small independent events in a few industries but develop into huge waves as many firms, at the same time, start looking for opportunities of expansion. I, finally, argue that merger waves are the product of the very capitalistic principles that form the basis of the current business world, and would continue to happen and would culminate in a single entity.
Ripples into Waves PDF