Some 1,125 deals from January to June of this year were announced, amounting to $53.7 billion versus 1,078 deals and $56.3 billion for the same time period a year ago, according to The Jordan Edmiston Group Inc.
This year, so far, 11 deals surpassed $1 billion in value -- including Verizon's $4.8 billion proposed acquisition of AOL and Expedia's $1.7 billion deal for online travel site Orbitz.
One of the biggest changes came with the second-biggest category -- marketing services and technology. There were 278 deals for the category valued at $12.7 billion, down 9% from 307 deals -- and off 25% to a total $16.8 billion value -- compared to a year ago.
Consumer media and technology, the third-biggest category, made strong upward gains at 100 deals -- up 9% with a total value of $9.1 billion, 18% higher. This included not only Verizon/AOL's $4.8 billion deal, but the recent Sequential Brands proposed deal for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, for $353 million.
The biggest category, software/tech-enabled services, pulled in 708 deals amounting to $28.4 billion -- virtually the same as a year ago, when there were 707 deals with a $30.9 billion value.
Overall, for the entire 2014 year, there were 2,171 deals with a total value of $132.2 billion versus 1,973 deals in 2013 at $97.1 billion.