Berkery Noyes’ Online and Mobile report for first half 2017 revealed that transaction volume increased five percent on a half year basis. Of note, private equity deal activity rose 21 percent. Aggregate industry value fell 37 percent, from $83.25 billion to $52.62 billion. There were five transactions in first half 2017 with disclosed vales above the $1 billion threshold, compared to 16 such deals in second half 2016. The peak for volume and value over the last 30 months occurred in first half 2016.

As for the Communications segment, volume improved 15 percent in first half 2017, making it the sector with the largest gain in deal activity. High profile segment transactions year-to-date included Atlassian’s acquisition of Trello, a web-based collaboration software and project management service, for $425 million; and BICS’ announced acquisition of TeleSign, a communications platform as a service (CPaaS) company focused on authentication and mobile identity services to Internet and digital service providers, for $230 million.

M&A activity in the E-Commerce increased 12 percent in first half 2017. Notable segment transactions year-to-date included PetSmart’s acquisition of Chewy, an online retailer for pet products, for $3.35 billion; Amazon’s announced acquisition of Souq, a Dubai-based online retailer, for a reported $650 million; and CVC Capital Partners’ announced acquisition of Etraveli, a global e-commerce platform for flight tickets, for $569 million.

Deal volume in the E-Marketing & Search segment decreased three percent on a half year basis. Notable segment transactions thus far in 2017 included Oracle’s acquisition of Moat, an ad measurement company, for a reported $850 million; and Vector Capital’s acquisition of Experian’s Cross-Channel Marketing business for $300 million.

“Programmatic buying, native advertising, and retargeting presents an opportunity for the traditional media players to reach their audiences on a variety of platforms,” said Vineet Asthana, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “The ad tech space is getting crowded and should be ripe for consolidation moving forward. Acquirers in the middle market seem to be especially keen on picking up digital companies that have either a regional focus or differentiated technological offerings.”