Why the Marlboro Men Want to Share Smokes Again

Talks between Philip Morris International and Altria, which only split up 11 years ago, must involve a degree of humility not often associated with megamergers. Yet this could be a reassuring sign that the companies are thinking of getting back together for the right reasons.

PMI said Tuesday morning that it was in talks about a “potential all-stock merger of equals” with Altria. The two companies both make Marlboro and other cigarette brands and are the offspring of a 2008 spinoff. At the time, the logic was that PMI—the…

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