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5 Mega Mergers to Keep Your Eye On

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on March 29, 2016 2:10 PM

As soon as this week, Time Warner Cable could finally find the buyer it's spent years searching for, should federal regulators approve the $67.1 billion deal. But Time Warner isn't the only big name looking to be bought up these days.

From insurance, to retail, to railroads, companies are pursuing mergers left and right. Here are five that we've got our eye on.

1. Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications

Alright, we'll start with the obvious, Time Warner Cable and Charter. Time Warner Cable has been looking for a suitable suitor forever. Threats of antitrust litigation scuttled Comcast's attempts to buy the company last year, but a small media company, Charter, may succeed where the big players have failed. If Charter succeeds in buying Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, it will become the second-largest broadband Internet provider and third-largest cable company in the country.

2. Office Depot and Staples

The nation's biggest big box office supply retailers might be getting even bigger. Staples ("We've Got That") is looking to get Office Depot for $6.3 billion. The companies say their merger will help them survive competition from Amazon, but the FTC has opposed the consolidation. Office Depot CEO Roland Smith and Staples CEO Ron Sargent will defend the merger in D.C. court this week, testifying in the FTC's challenge to the merger.

3. Anthem and Cigna

Anthem's slogan may as well be "bigger is better." Its $54 billion acquisition of would create the country's largest health care insurer in the country, growing to more than 53 million members nationally. But, the merger faces strong opposition from consumer interest groups, who will testify before California state regulators today.

4. Norfolk Southern Corp and Canadian Pacific Railways

We're a long way from the heyday of the Union Pacific and the first transcontinental railroad, but railways remain big business. And one of America's largest railway companies is currently facing a takeover from its neighbors to the north. Norfolk Southern urged its employees recently to oppose a vote to enter friendly merger talks with Canadian Pacific Railway, but a separate proxy filing showed that the company would be open to merger talks.

5. Jet Blue and Virgin America?

From the rails to the skies. Virgin American is currently entertaining takeover offers from JetBlue and Alaska Air, according to a report yesterday on Bloomberg. Picking up Virgin would greatly expand JetBlue's access to West Coast flights, while an Alaska buy out would help the company get rid of a major West Coast competitor. Of course, merger talks are still just rumors at this point, but that hasn't stopped Virgin America's stock from jumping up about 10 percent at the news.

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