Reasons for mega-mergers are not always easy to establish from the outside, but that does not keep people from trying to find them anyway. In the recent $100 billion offer of Pfizer to buy the British firm AstraZeneca, nearly every analyst was unanimous about the primary motives: to exploit the patentlinked lower tax rates in the UK and to access AztraZeneca's anti-cancer pipeline.
Pfizer, in spite of spending $6-7 billion a year on research and development, does not have a good anti-cancer pipeline. AstraZeneca does, and Pfizer wants to grab it quickly. But the story does not end there. This was not the first deal in recent times that had a strong link to cancer drugs.