On the national level, there are more than one case for a wave of merger and acquisitions mainly in the USA and UK. At the turn of the twenties century the United States have witnessed the largest manufacturing mergers and acquisition in its economy, this mergers named as “The Great Merger Movement in American Business”. Between 1895 and 1904 over 1800 firm disappeared into horizontal combination, many of which acquired a substantial share of the markets in which they operated. There are many opinions related to main motives and reasons behind such merger movement, but we can summarize the widely agreed upon reasons as follows:
The development of capital-intensive mass-production manufacturing technique in the late 19th century, the very rapid growth experienced by many capital-intensive industries after 1887 and the deep depression which dominated the mid 1890s. One of the opinions argues that the movement was not a result from the rise of large-scale manufacturing but it was an attempt by entrepreneurs to escape severe price competition. This argument stress on the importance of market control motive in favor of the drive of efficiency motive, it suggest that in the period of rapid growth, new firms with extensive capital investments, high fixed charges, and no established pattern of marketing, suffered from considerable price warfare and formed consolidations. Once established, this consolidations, whatever their level of efficiency, were able to control the competitive environment in the short run. Nevertheless, in the long run most of these giant enterprises encounter higher costs and could not retain their dominance unless they created barriers to entry through such means as controlling the supply of raw materials or massive spending on advertisements.
On the other hand, the emergence of large firm in Great Britain started in 1870 to 1914. In 1905, following and largely the result of the first great merger movement in the United States, a number of very large enterprises with capitalization exceeding £2 million had come into being in UK. Yet this increase does not appear to have been on a scale comparable with that experienced in the United States. The biggest of these possessed assets far in excess of the largest British concerns, appear to have achieved a far greater share of their respective markets, and covered a far broader range of manufacturing and mining activity than did the biggest British enterprises.
One of the very important technological merger and acquisition is the British computer industry. In 1968, with the blessing of the British, Industrial Reorganization Corporation, English electric Computers Ldt., Plessey Computer division and International Computers and Tabulators joined together to form the only existing British computer company of any size, International Computers Ldt., known as ICL. There had been also considerable earlier merger activities in the industry, involving Elliott Automation, Leo Computer Ltd., Ferranti, and General Electric in just the post of 1960 period. The main justification for 1968 merger was on the ground of technological progressiveness. It was felt that only as a merger industry could British computer manufacturing compete with its US rivals on a technological level. In addition, the existence of increasing returns to scale in computer manufacturing which coupled with IBM’s world market share of approximately 70% makes the chance of any small company using price-cutting as a successful competitive weapon very remote. One can argue that if the British computer industry was to make inroads into the US position of supremacy that it must be based on the technology superiority. To evaluate this case, studies shows that the number of British computer patients was almost equal to IBM within the period after the acquisition, British computer industry market share have increased but we do not have an accurate figure to measure it against US market share, but finally we can confirm that the British computer industry has at least been able to hold its own against the US companies.