Institution(s): 1. Max-Planck-Inst. fuer Radioastronomie
Galaxy mergers are the sites of major black hole growth. They power luminous quasars, and form supermassive binary black holes (SMBBHs) at their centers. Coalescing binaries are among the strongest sources of gravitational waves (GWs) in the universe. Studying the early and advanced stages galaxy merging, and the onset of accretion onto one or both BHs, informs us about feedback processes, and the origin of the scaling relations between SMBHs and their host galaxies. During gas-rich and gas-poor mergers, the initial conditions are set which later determine the amplitude of GW recoil. Identification of the compact SMBBHs, at parsec and sub-parsec scales, provides us with important constraints on the interaction processes that govern the shrinkage of the binary beyond "the final parsec". Here, I give an overview of the status of observations, important open questions, and future surveys, with an emphasis on SMBBHs.