With the merging of big players within and between such industries as insurance, business services, banking & finance, media and technology I propose to investigate the impact and feasibility of a higher degree of vertical integration in the form of mergers, acquisitions, convergence, complimentary shareholdings and alliances. I propose to investigate the feasibility of such corporate convergence and the impact it has on a company's share price and profitability (short & long term), as well as the advantages and disadvantages to the customer. Further ramifications that can be investigated include potential conflict of interests and privacy issues. The structure of this report will be as follows: Brief run down of current situation which sees definitive boundaries between different industries. This will include a historical look at the industries which are now beginning to murder alliance and merger. Industries will include: - Accounting, Banking & Finance, Business Services, E-services, Media, Technology and the Internet, Insurance, IT and Telecommunications.

Although many industries will be discussed in conjunction with the Internet, the report will not be confined to this. Once the industries are identified the report will investigate the pro's and con's of convergence at all levels to consumers, companies and shareholders alike. Although many of these will be general across all the industries attempting to integrate, there will be a number of specific advantages and disadvantages that will be addressed. Industries presently seen or rumored to be converging will be identified and discussed. This will include the effect on shareholder value and the future potential such moves are seen to have. Following the historical view and interpretation of what has happened the report will then discuss future mergers within and between industries and substantiate prediction with their advantages bearing in mind the direction of specific industries.

industries and companies Pass/Fail or Graded "There is a central difference between the old and new economies: the old industrial economy was driven by economies of scale; the new information economy is driven by the economics of networks... ." Information Rules by Carl Shapiro, Hal R. Varian.