Merger Monday Returns Despite Credit Concerns

Mergers and acquisitions were back Monday as numerous high-profile companies announced plans to tie up despite recent tightness in the credit market and uncertainty over the strength of Western economies.

French video game maker Vivendi said over the weekend it will merge its video games unit with Activision, concentrating more on gaming as music sales fall. The deal addsa blockbuster role-playing game "World of Warcraft" and the popular "Guitar Hero"to Vivendi's already strong game portfolio.

Meanwhile, Dutch staffing company Randstad said it would bid $5.17 billion for its national rivalVedior. Vedior shares rose 7.6 percent, but Randstad tumbled10.6 percent, suggesting investors thought the price of the deal was too high.

And shares in AWD soared 28.1 percent as Switzerland's biggest insurer Swiss Life announced plans to buy the German investment adviser for $1.71 billion. Swiss Life shares slipped 5.7 percent.