Summary of Big Deal: 2000 and Beyond

Mergers and Acquisitions in the Digital Age

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Big Deal: 2000 and Beyond book summary
Behind the M&A curtain.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


M&A tycoon Bruce Wasserstein has not just studied the high-stakes world of corporate mergers & acquisitions, he’s lived it. As head of M&A at First Boston and then as leader of his own firm, Wasserstein has played a role in many pivotal corporate marriages. In these pages, Wasserstein comprehensively examines the hows and whys of history’s largest deals. While skirting the fundamental question of whether mergers & acquisitions enhance or depress shareholder value over the long term, Wasserstein conveys an overwhelming amount of information about the dynamics and tactics that define M&A. The book is enormous and encyclopedic, so it might serve better as a reference text than a straight-through read. getAbstract strongly recommends this book for both its compelling historic accounts of Wall Street’s most important deals and deal makers and its detailed breakdown of how the game actually works.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What five fundamental forces influence mergers & acquisitions
  • Why the decade of the 1980s was crucial in business
  • How globalization and new technology has facilitated many successful mergers


Elemental Forces
Modern financial history is punctuated with dramatic mergers. The $129 billion merger of MCI WorldCom with Sprint challenges AT&T for global telecommunications leadership. The $41 billion Viacom-CBS merger creates a media and entertainment giant. The merger of Travelers...
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About the Author

Bruce Wasserstein is the chairman and CEO of Wasserstein Perella & Company. He worked as a lawyer at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and was co-head of investment banking at First Boston before starting his own firm in 1988. He published an earlier version of this book in 1998 as Mergers and Acquisitions in the Digital Age.

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