New media and tech deals drive M&A rebound

Mobile technology and applications are driving a resurgence of M&A activity in the US, with 16 deals announced in the first half of 2009.
 
Activity in the mobile media and technology sector is up 46% over first half 2008 levels, according to investment firm Jordan Edmiston Group.
 
Deals in the mobile tech sector are being dominated by strategic buyers such as IAC and Amazon, which has invested in iPhone apps. Last month, Amazon also acquired image recognition mobile marketing and advertising solutions company, SnapTell.
 
The report claims that the other hot areas of investment are mobile social networking and mobile content.
 
The most active sector for M&A activity overall in the first half was online media and technology, with 84 transactions valued at $1.3 billion.
 
Acquisitions were made both by significant “old media” companies and financial firms who were attracted to online media content, social networking, gaming, job portals, e-commerce, and enabling technologies.
 
Traditional media giants Walt Disney Company took a strategic 27% stake in Hulu and also acquired Kaboose, while AOL acquired two local online content players, Patch Media and Going. VC firms spectrum Equity and Bain Capital acquired Survey Monkey and Florida Merchant Capital acquired online job portal WorkTree.com.
 
Marketing and interactive services was the second most active sector, with 66 transactions valued at $877 million. However, the value of the transactions was a small fraction of comparative 1H 2008 levels, the report said.

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