Fox Business has a story noting that 2017 was “the fourth straight year with reported M&A dollar value well above $1 trillion,” with November alone showing $200 million in merger-and-acquisition activity. December started with CVS agreeing to acquire Aetna for $69 billion, and the month isn’t over yet.

The story suggests that there is a common element in many of the deals being announced - they are a reaction to something Amazon has done or is expected to do. Companies are looking at Amazon, the story says, and asking themselves if they have business models that are adequate to the task of competing in a disruptive environment. If the answer is “no,” then they are forced to consider defensive options that will allow them to continue to prosper … or just survive.

KC's View: In other words, the disruptions that Amazon creates are not just on the consumer side, affecting how people acquire products or content.

It occurs to me that it isn’t as simple as just acquiring or merging with a business. Going outside comfort zones means that company cultures are being challenged, which can create all sorts of tsouris that can undermine a business’s effectiveness. And, it can create all sorts of staffing challenges, because at a time of near full-employment, it is harder and harder to find the kinds of people necessary to succeed.