February 14, 2011, 12:03 PM

E-commerce and social media help drive merger and acquisition activity in January

Social media and apps accounted for 23 deals last month.

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Merger and acquisition activity for the marketing, information and digital media and commerce industries last month included 196 deals worth $8.5 billion, up 158% from $3.3 billion in January 2010. according to investment banking firm Petsky Prunier LLC. The number of deals increased 180% from last January’s total of 70.

Among the three industries, the digital media and commerce industry accounted for 78 transactions in January with an estimated value of $3.1 billion, or 37% of the estimated total value for October. Within the digital media and commerce industry, social media and apps was the most active subcategory for merger and acquisition activity, with 23 deals. The digital promotions and coupons subcategory was in second place with 13 transactions, followed by e-commerce with 12 transactions.  

Transactions in e-commerce included Amazon.com’s purchase of European video and streaming company LoveFilm for $191 million; daily-deal site LivingSocial’s purchase of Spain-based Let’s Bonus; and Zynga Inc.’s acquisition of competing social games company Area/Code. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

The digital advertising industry had 30 transactions valued at an estimated $726.2 million during January. The ad networks/exchanges and online lead generation subcategories were the most active, with each having 9 transactions.

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