Op-Ed

Bell isn’t the first, nor will they be the last

Sofia Hashi | Fulcrum Staff

IN THE REALM of business, bigger is always better. Bigger companies generate more revenue, and successful businesses usually dominate the marketplace. This belief has led to many company mergers over the past 50 years. Some mergers are so successful we forget there was even a time they were distinct companies, while others fall so flat they are forced to endure a painful corporate divorce. With Bell poised to takeover Astral media and become a Canadian broadcasting heavyweight, we thought it’d be fun to list some past corporate mergers you may have forgotten about.

AOL/Time Warner

It was the most talked-about merger of the turn of the century. Print media giant Time Warner was set to become one with American Online (AOL), the new kid on the block, offering services such as email and Internet for the masses. For a whopping $111 billion, the marriage between the written and electronic word was meant to last forever, so what made the deal go sour? Differing ideological views, the death of dial-up Internet access, and the disappearance of the dot-com boom rendered the merger defunct. These two companies went their separate ways, but not before losing billions of dollars.

Walt Disney/Pixar

It was a match made in cartoon heaven. Disney, a word forever synonymous with childhood dreams, joined together with Pixar, the company behind Monsters Inc. and Toy Story. This legendary union brought together two kids’-movie-making champions to form one goliath in 2006. And the proof is in the pudding, or shall we say movies. With Bolt, Up, and Cars having dominated movie theatres across the globe, it’s safe to say this was  a  successful merger.

Hudson Bay Co. takeover

Okay, so this is technically not a merger. But who said all acquisitions weren’t without a little hostility? In 2006, Canada’s oldest company, having been founded in 1670, found itself with a proposition from the wealthy American businessman Jerry Zucker. The billion-dollar takeover was approved by Canadian federal ministries, and along with it went the other companies the Hudson Bay Co. owned, such as the Bay and Zellers.