Chinese search engine Baidu.com’s $1.9 billion acquisition of app distribution platform 91 Wireless Websoft Ltd. marked the highest-value transaction in the third quarter; it was the second-largest deal this year. The No. 1-valued deal in the online and mobile M&A space in 2013 was Salesforce.com’s acquisition of marketing-automation platform ExactTarget, which Berkery Noyes pinned at $2.25 billion (other reports have placed that total at $2.5 billion).
Although consumer mobile apps transactions were down 38% in the third quarter, there were signs of life as Instagram picked up video-sharing app Luma and Apple acquired crowdsourced location data company Locationary.
Ecommerce and econtent acquisitions were up 13% in Q3, as retailers like Target, with its acquisition of online beauty platform Dermstore, and Staples, with its purchase of data-driven personalization engine Runa, characterized most of the deals.
Of the trends that dominated M&A in Q3, mobile, video and TV, with Twitter’s acquisition of social TV company Trendrr, were among the leaders. “Because mobile is so nascent, they are not always large deals, but there are more deals and it’s dynamically changing,” Berkery said.