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Mergers and acquisitions have been en vogue for many decades now and have gained further prominence in recent times. If the merging organisations are able to achieve the right kind of synergy, the merger can be of great benefit. On the other hand, an unnecessary, hasty merger or one that is not handled well can wreak havoc on all the participating organisations. Mergers have a significant impact on all the employees and stakeholders. Major mergers, successful or not have been game changers for the entire industry and have affected the economy in a big way. Hence, it is imperative that we develop a lucid understanding of the factors that dictate the success or failure of a merger. Mergers can be of many kinds horizontal, vertical and conglomerate; and may be carried out for various reasons. Organizations merge only when they believe that the combined value of the two companies after the merger is more than the value of the two companies taken separately before the merger. This value addition is often achieved through efficient use of resources, centralized management, economies of scale, eliminating competing operations and tweaking the market forces in a favourable direction. But the motives for a merger must be carefully judged and the merits and demerits analyzed thoroughly to ensure that the merger is indeed a success and that we are not being misled by the mathematics of the deal. The Bootstrap Game i.e. increased earnings per share is a classic case where the merger appears to be beneficial but rings hollow in the long run. Also, in the aftermath of a merger the questions of work culture compatibility and ownership are key to the effectiveness of the merger. Overlooking these finer aspects can derail even the most well laid plans for mergers and acquisitions which seem perfectly viable on paper. We will have a close look at some real world examples of mergers which have had a huge impact on the industry and analyze the reasons for their success or failure. Thus, in conclusion this study begins by explaining the kinds of mergers and shows under which conditions these different kinds of mergers are needed. The following sections aim at giving the reader a good understanding of the factors which go into the making of a successful merger and highlight some key aspects which must be kept in mind to avoid financial disasters. We will also discuss the motives which a firm might have for going through with the merger and focus on the situations in which the merger can go horribly wrong. The examples of prominent real world mergers will aid the reader in developing a better understanding of the concepts put forward in this paper.