- China Mobile, $31.0 billion
China's oil, steel, and finance giants are investing overseas. Why not its leading wireless company? Yes, China censors its citizens. That was a trendy thing to worry about in August 2008.
- Cisco Systems, $26.2 billion
Cisco's so proud of its cash pile, its investor-relations chief has blogged about it. If only investors had any confidence in Cisco's bizarre social-network acquisition strategy, which has nothing to do with its fine telecom-equipment assets. Memo to Cisco's M&A team: Just because it has the word "network" in it doesn't mean you have to buy it.
- Microsoft, $21.2 billion
The $44 billion Yahoo offer was half in cash, half in stock, which would have strained Microsoft's finances and required it to take on some debt. Good thing it fell through.
- Apple, $20.7 billion
In the '90s, Apple almost ran out of money. No danger of that happening soon. Ever-secretive Apple rarely makes big, splashy acquisitions; that could change if the right bargain comes along.
- Google, $12.7 billion
A slumping share price may mean more acquisitions done for cash.
- Intel, $12.0 billion
Intel's chip factories require billions of dollars in investment; count on Intel to spend its money there, rather than on cute Web companies.
- Nokia, $10.8 billion
Like Cisco, Nokia's eager to be more of a Web player. Blogging and lifecasting are particular areas of interest. The cell-phone maker could throw investors a curveball and buy, say, Six Apart, Automattic, or Tumblr.
- Dell, $9.0 billion
Dell could have more cash on its hands if it manages to sell its PC factories, a move it's considering as HP chips away at its business. On the shopping list: software and services.
- Motorola, $7.2 billion
It's hard to see Motorola being an active acquirer until it figures out what to do with its cell-phone business.
- Taiwan Semiconductor, $7.0 billion
AMD's only worth $2.6 billion, and TSMC already makes some chips for it. Why not just buy it?