11/27/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Coopetition, Frenemies And Mergers In The Making

This morning, I read about the potential merger of General Motors (GM) and Chrysler. Then I read about the benign rivalry of two divas of the blog world, Arianna Huffington and Tina Brown. Two stories that have nothing to do with each other? You would think. But actually, they do. They point to a new reality of the business world: Competition isn't what it used to be. Competition becomes coopetition. Rivals become friends--or "frenemies" at least.

The mayhem in the markets hastens the trend. Who could have fathomed a few months ago that GM and Chrysler would be discussing a possible merger, while begging the government to provide financial aid for such a deal? It's about survival. And during these nail-biter weeks, the bank chiefs-John Mack at Morgan Stanley (MS), Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs (GS), Vikram Pandit at Citigroup (C)-have phoned one another, talking mergers, and sat together with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to shore the global financial markets.

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