September 30, 2011, 3:33 PM

Digital media and e-commerce drives merger and acquisition activity in Q3

306 deals worth $8.1 billion were announced in the third quarter.

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Merger and acquisition activity in the marketing, media, technology and service industries increased 239% in the third quarter compared with the same quarter last year, with 771 transactions totaling $43.4 billion announced, according to investment banking firm Petsky Prunier LLC.

Digital media and e-commerce was the most active segment with 306 transactions worth $8.1 billion. As it was in the second quarter, deals for social media and app companies made it the most active sub-segment within digital media and e-commerce. 78 such deals worth $1.5 billion were announced in the third quarter, compared with 11 valued at $290 million in the same period last year. E-commerce was second highest with 65 transactions valued at $3.6 billion, up from 11 deals valued at $313 million in Q3 of 2010. Petsky Prunier reported 36 transactions valued at $239 million in the mobile content and mobile apps sub-segment, compared with one transaction worth $20 million a year ago.

The largest single investment during the period was the $1.6 billion stake Silver Lake Partners and Digital Sky Technology took in Alibaba Group, the parent company of Chinese e-commerce site TaoBao.com.

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