Governments and unions were watching closely todayy as several giant transnationals moved closer to enormous mergers.
Japan's Nippon Steel has merged with Sumitomo Metal to form the world's second-biggest steelmaker with an annual production capacity of about 50 million tons.
It wants to boost output to 70 million tons within five to 10 years but steel companies have been cutting jobs for years citing a lack of demand.
Meanwhile, the board of Anglo-Swiss mining company Xstrata encouraged shareholders to accept a merger with Swiss commodities trader Glencore, which would create one of the world's biggest mining firms. Both companies are involved in the developing scandal over the treatment of South African miners.
And the chief executives of BAE Systems and Europe-based EADS are pushing for the merger of their two aeronautics and defence companies.