Assuming two companies one called A which is the bigger (master), the other call B which is the smaller (child). B is going to join A to be part of A. Which one is the correct phrase here ( B merge into A), or (A merge into B)

closed as unclear what you're asking by RegDwigнt Oct 23 '13 at 8:55

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  • I haven't found confirmation of this, but my suspicion is that the preposition into is only used after merge in non-financial senses. AHD has: merge (mûrj) v. merged, merg·ing, merg·es v.tr. 1. To cause to be absorbed, especially in gradual stages. 2. To combine or unite: merging two sets of data. v.intr. 1. To blend together, especially in gradual stages. 2. To become combined or united. >> Notice that only sense tr1 allows an absorption of the less permanent element by the matrix. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 23 '13 at 8:29
  • Campbell R Harvey has: Merger (1) Acquisition in which all assets and liabilities are absorbed by the buyer. (2) More generally, any combination of two companies. The firm's activity in this respect is sometimes called M&A (Merger and Acquisition) – Edwin Ashworth Oct 23 '13 at 8:31
  • @EdwinAshworth my question is which one will acquire and which will be acquired? Or which one will be absorbed? – Hawk Oct 23 '13 at 8:33
  • I have found an instance of 'merged into' in the financial sector, but here it is a super-authority enforcing the merger from above: 'The electrical power industry in the United Kingdom was nationalised by the Electricity Act 1947, when over 600 electric power companies were merged into twelve Area Boards.' I suspect you're asking 'Does company A merge into B, or vice versa' and I'm heading for the answer 'neither – the standard use of "merge into" doesn't stretch that far'. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 23 '13 at 8:39
  • Here is an example of 'A and B, bought by X, have been merged intoC': Specialty Manufacturing, Inc. Bought by Equity Firm, Merged Into ‘Safe Fleet’ WRITTEN BY MICHELLE FISHER FRIDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2013 10:30 Specialty Manufacturing, Inc. (SMI) was acquired by The Sterling Group, a private equity firm based in Houston, on Oct 1. With the acquisition of a second company, Sterling has combined the two into a new entity called Safe Fleet Acquisition Group. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 23 '13 at 8:44
  • A merge with B = B merge with A.

  • Pour the smaller cup into the bigger cup of coffee = pour the bigger cup into the smaller cup of coffee.

  • The traffic of the highway merged into that streaming out of the feeder ramp = the traffic streaming out of the feeder ramp merged into the highway traffic.

  • The product lines of IBM merged into those of the tiny company they bought = the product lines of the tiny company IBM bought merged into those of IBM's.

Normally, we say company A merging with company B, rather than merging into. However, we can say their products, functionality or services merging into each other's.

commutative [kəˈmjuːtətɪv ˈkɒmjʊˌteɪtɪv]
1. relating to or involving substitution
2. (Mathematics) (Philosophy / Logic) Maths Logic
a. (of an operator) giving the same result irrespective of the order of the arguments; thus disjunction and addition are commutative but implication and subtraction are not
b. relating to this property the commutative law of addition

e.g. commutative operation: a + b = b + a
non-commutative operation: a/b != b/a

It seems logical that the smaller company should merge into the larger company. But why would it be illogical to say that the bigger company merging into the smaller company.

However, there might be a public perception tendency to visualise a submissive entity merging into a dominant entity. Rather than a dominant entity merging into a submissive entity, regardless of the equivalence and commutativity in logic.

OTOH, there have been instances of a large company submissively merging into a small company

  • As condition of purchasing the smaller company, the board of the large company agrees to retain the executive management, the technology skills or financial expertise of the small company as the dominant team, as acquiring those assets were the reason for the purchase.
  • The market reach of the small company was significantly more dominant than that of the larger company.
  • The larger company is merely a holding company shell uniting an range of investors with the purpose of acquiring business assets.
  • The smaller company had a significantly larger bandwidth or manufacturing capacity, into which the larger company's would have to merge.
  • 1
    What are your first four bullet points meant to show? The first is just restating the question, and the next three are plainly false (if you mean 'one alternative is preferable to the other' it would be helpful not to switch the alternatives halfway through'). – TimLymington Oct 23 '13 at 13:08
  • They are the answer demonstrating the commutativity of the LHS with the RHS thro a simple mathematical equation, where LHS = RHS. Perhaps I should have used the more conventional commutative operator <=>, but I thought using an equal sign might be more intuitive to people not familiar with mathematical/logical commutative concepts. Your misunderstanding the equal sign is evidence that I was wrong about using it. – Blessed Geek Oct 23 '13 at 17:25
  • No, I think the sign is equally valid (or invalid) whichever you use. But if you really think pour the bigger cup into the smaller cup 'gives the same result as' pour the smaller cup into the bigger cup you would not be welcome in my kitchen. – TimLymington Oct 23 '13 at 17:30
  • The consequence, the final product, is the same whether you pour the bigger cup into the smaller or otherwise, where both cups have sufficient capacity and allowance for increase of content. Actually, to demonstrate commutativity more clearly: pour big cup into jug then pour small cup into jug <=> pour small cup into jug then pour big cup into jug. – Blessed Geek Oct 23 '13 at 17:48
  • The qualifying phrase is precisely what I have been trying to point out. It is justifiable only by axiom, does not apply in your second, third or fourth examples, and cannot be assumed in the first or the original question. This is English.SE, not Maths. – TimLymington Oct 23 '13 at 18:08

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