General Electric wants to buy France's Alstom; Pfizer is chasing Britain's AstraZeneca -- US companies are looking hungrily at European rivals.
But the reason is not just to grow. The American giants, at least in part, are looking to avoid potentially large tax bills back home.
US companies have accumulated massive piles of profits offshore, but do not want to bring the money home because of the 35 percent chunk they will have to pay the government to do so.
So instead of paying out the profits to shareholders, or making US investments, they are spending the money offshore.