The number of domestic mergers and acquisitions announced in the third quarter of 2003 dipped from numbers for both the second quarter and the same quarter a year ago, reported FactSet Mergerstat LLC, which tracks such data. As of Sept. 26 some 1,837 transactions with an aggregate deal value of $108.4 billion had been reported in the third quarter, down from 1,983 in the second quarter and 1,899 in the third quarter of 2002. The aggregate value of deals announced in the third quarter of 2002 was $157.1 billion. Greenwich, Conn.-based Mergerstat said 21 of the announced transactions were of $1 billion or more, including General Electric Co.'s deal to acquire the commercial finance business of Aegon NV for $5.4 billion. On the European front, deal volume reached 1,988 in the third quarter, an increase from 1,572 transactions announced in the second. The aggregate value of third-quarter announcements was $87.5 billion.