Online Consolidations Accelerate

Online media deals almost doubled in volume in the first half of this year but, in the absence of blockbuster acquisitions, the total value of the deals declined dramatically, according to a new report by The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc.

The first six months of this year saw 85 online media mergers and acquisitions, compared to 48 in the first half of 2005, but they amounted to just $3.7 billion, compared to almost $6 billion in the first six months of 2005.

The increase in lower-value online mergers is a natural byproduct of last year's spate of titanic deals, said Adam Gross, vice president of marketing and communications at Jordan, Edmiston. "As with any marketplace, a number of the larger transactions culminate and then it moves downstream," he said."

In the first half of last year, IAC/Interactive bought search engine Ask Jeeves for $1.9 billion, eBay's acquired comparison shopping engine for $620 million, and Scripps' purchased comparison shopping engine Shopzilla for $525 million.



This year, NBC Universal's $545 acquisition of women's network iVillage marked the largest single deal to date. Other large online deals included Scripps' $366 purchase of comparison shopping site and Viacom's $102 million purchase of Xfire--a downloadable messaging service designed for gamers.

Overall, the first half of this year saw 315 media deals that totaled $37.1 billion, including 70 consolidations among marketing and interactive services companies, 43 newspaper mergers and 24 consumer magazine deals. In 2005, by contrast, there were 280 mergers totaling $27.9 billion during the first six months.

Next story loading loading..