Report: Mobile M&A Active in ’09, Social, Not So Much

When it came to merger and acquisition deals in 2009, mobile was hot and social networking was not.

Per a year-end report issued by the New York-based investment bank Peachtree Media Advisors, there were 85 transactions in the mobile arena in 2009, more than double the number of such deals that occurred in 2008 (41). Conversely, social media saw the biggest drop off in M&A activity last year, as 47 deals occurred versus over 100 in 2008.

According to Peachtree’s report, as consumer interest in smartphones took off in 2009, driven by the iPhone and Google’s Android software, dollars began to pour into the burgeoning mobile space.

Meanwhile, as more Web publishers faced an abundance of inventory and a data, along with a weak display market – the back end operations side of the digital media business received increased attention—and deal making. Peachtree found that companies focused on services such as ad optimization, targeting, analytics and operations were red hot last year, resulting in 144 transactions, up from just 74 in 2008.

Overall, Peachtree tracked 755 capital raises, mergers, and acquisitions in digital media—an increase of 7 percent versus 2008. However, the total value of such deals dipped 10 percent in 2009 to $15.2 billion.