December 30, 2011, 2:04 PM

E-commerce and digital media deals top $44 billion in 2011

The segment had 1,159 mergers and acquisitions this year, Petsky Prunier says.

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There were 3,026 transactions totaling $141.6 billion this year in the marketing, media, technology and service industries, with the number of deals jumping 187% compared with 2010, according to investment banking firm Petsky Prunier LLC. The value of those transactions increased 152% compared with 2010, the firm adds.

The e-commerce and digital media segment was the most active within the marketing, media, technology and service industries, with 1,159 deals valued at more than $44 billion. Compared with last year, deal volume in this segment nearly tripled, while transaction value increased by 289%, Petsky Prunier says. The segment also accounted for one of the largest deals of the year, Microsoft Corp.'s $8.5 billion acquisition of instant messaging service Skype.

The second most active mergers and acquisitions segment in 2011 was marketing technology, with 338 transactions valued at $21.9 billion. Marketing technology deals accounted for three of the year's ten highest valued transactions across all industries, including:

• EBay Inc.'s $2.4 billion acquisition of e-commerce service provider GSI Commerce

• Investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ $2.3 billion acquisition of software provider Go Daddy

• Oracle's $1.5 billion acquisition of online customer service provider RightNow Technologies.

Google Inc. and ad agency Publicis Groupe were the most active buyers in 2011 with 29 and 22 transactions, respectively. Marketing firm WPP was third with 18 deals, and eBay followed with 11.

Other online companies involved in e-commerce that were the most active strategic buyers this year were:

• Daily deal provider Groupon with 10 transactions.

Facebook with nine.

Gilt Groupe, No. 49 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, with eight.

• Daily deal provider LivingSocial with seven.

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