Economic Definition of merger. Defined.
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Term merger Definition: The consolidation of two separately-owned businesses under single ownership. This can be accomplished through a mutual, "friendly" agreement by both parties, or through a "hostile takeover," in which one business gets ownership without cooperation from the other. Mergers fall into one of three classes -- (1) horizontal--two competing firms in the same industry that sell the same products, (2) vertical--two firms in different stages of the production of one good, such that the output of one business is the input of the other, and (3) conglomerate--two firms that are in totally, completely separated industries.