The presidential candidates grabbed headlines this year by appealing to voters’ distrust of big business. And behind the scenes, many of those businesses made plans to get bigger, with the help of some monumental deals.
While none of the largest M&A deals announced this year would be big enough to crack the all-time Top 10, there were plenty that involved major brands and potentially industry-shaking consequences. Overall, the value of the average merger or acquisition announced in 2016 was around $104.2 million, according to data from analytics firm Dealogic. That was smaller than in 2015, when the average deal was worth $115.4 million, but greater than the average for deals made between 2000 and 2014, which was around $77.1 million.
M&A activity flourished despite a harrowing election season for dealmakers. President-elect Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton both pointed disapproving fingers at various consolidations announced during the election cycle, arguing that the deals, especially one between AT&T and Time Warner, would give the combined entities too much power at the expense of consumers.
It’s too early to tell whether the Trump administration, which seems likely to be generally business-friendly, will try to block any of this year’s big mergers and acquisitions. Either way, you can scroll down to see the 5 biggest deals. (Values include any debt assumed.)