Media M&A Barely Up In Q1; Thanks, AOL

This story was written by Joseph Weisenthal.
The first quarter of 2008 is now history and it won't soon be missed. But if you take a glance over your shoulder, media M&A totaled $13.4 billion in the just-ended quarter, 4.7 percent higher than $12.8 billion in Q107, according to a report from the Jordan Edmiston Group. Deal volume actually slipped to 202 from 207. Other data confirms a market that's slowing down. Taken together, online media and marketing & interactive services deals fell to $5.4 billion from $6.4 billion, a decline of 15 percent. Elsewhere, two deals in the database information systems spaceGetty's (NYSE: GYI) sale to Hellman ($2.4 billion) and Friedman and Reed Elsevier's (NYSE: RUK) acquisition of ChoicePoint ($4 billion)accounted for almost half of the entire activity in the quarter.

And if it weren't for AOL's (NYSE: TWX) planned buy of Bebo for $850 million, this quarter would have come in lower than a year ago. Full report. (.pdf)

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By Joseph Weisenthal