New York—M&A activity in the media and information industry was up sharply in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year, according to a report released Thursday by media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group. The total number of deals rose nearly 8% to 168, while deal value exceeded $14.60 billion, a 35% increase compared with the first quarter of 2005, for the 11 media and information sectors tracked by Jordan, Edmiston. Despite the overall increase in the M&A market, deals for b-to-b magazines declined. There were eight deals in the first quarter of 2006 compared with 14 in the first quarter last year, while the value of deals dropped 67%, to $120 million from $369 million. The number of deals for exhibitions and conferences increased to 14, from 11 last year, while the value of the deals increased 70%, to $220 million.