Re: "Merging of Brands"?
A few quotes that support a crossover of some sort.
"I admit the 4th film came as a bit of a surprise. There has been talk that it may not just be a Spider-Man movie, it may expand to elements outside of Spider-Man" - Marc Webb on TASM4
Interview with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach on TASM2
Interviewer "Could we see see a cameo for other Marvel characters in the movie"
Avi Arad *grinning* "I don't want to say anything as that ruins the secret. There are things we want to keep a surprise for the audience in the theater. When your watching this movie you will be like oh there is continuity"
A few quotes that could be interpreted in a way that suits my earlier suggestion.
"You wanted to be the hero, now you've got to pay a price"
The Amazing Spider-Man 2