2010, the year of the big comeback for IT M&As

Survey finds more than 1,900 M&A deals in IT and telecommunications last year

Despite a continued weak but recovering economy in 2010, merger and acquisition activity in the IT and communications sector made a strong showing, a new survey finds.

There were more than 1,900 M&A deals in the sector in 2010 with a total valuation of more than $200 billion, according to a new report, “2010 Tech M&A Analysis Report,” from market analysis firm International Data Corp.


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The vast majority of those M&A deals were concentrated in application-related areas, including enterprise applications (586 deals) and Internet applications (421 deals). Activity also surged in the infrastructure segment where there were more than 219 deals led by strong interest in security and storage companies, the IDC study found.

Telecommunications was a particularly active area in 2010 with seven of the year's top 10 megadeals involving service provider networks, among them CenturyLink’s acquisition of Qwest for $22.4 billion and America Movil’s $21 billion deal for Telemex. Intel’s $7.7 billion deal for McAfee and SAP’s acquisition of Sybase ($5.8 billion) were the largest megadeals in the infrastructure segment.

The most active companies on the M&A landscape were Google, which made 27 deals in 2010, followed by AOL and Facebook with nine deals each. Among the major IT vendors, Cisco Systems, Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Intel, Oracle and VMware all racked up acquisitions.

“Looking ahead, IDC expects 2011 to be another active year as companies make strategic investments in a variety of critical areas, such as converged infrastructure, mobile content, service creation and enablement, data analytics (and the supporting infrastructure), and pervasive computing,” Dan Yachin, research director of emerging technologies at IDC, was quoted in the report.

The analysis is the first in a new series of quarterly reports from IDC covering M&A activity in the ICT sector.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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