Pace of Media Deals Slowed in Third Quarter

Online and Marketing Services Sectors Most Active

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NEW YORK ( -- Worries about a softer economy have started to slow the pace of mergers and acquisitions, according to an overview of the media and information industries released today by the Jordan Edmiston Group.
Walt Disney Co. acquired Club Penguin for $350 million.
Walt Disney Co. acquired Club Penguin for $350 million.

Concerns over economy
The report said third-quarter mergers-and-acquisitions action was "clouded by credit market disruption and concerns for a potential advertising and broader economic slowdown."

But deals for the first nine months of 2007 have outpaced those for full-year 2006, a record year for mergers and acquisitions in the media marketplace. In fact, the period was dominated by deals in the online media and marketing and interactive services space.

Online media acquisitions for the period included R.H. Donnelly's acquisition of for $345 million and Walt Disney Co.'s purchase of Club Penguin for $350 million. Marketing services was dominated by Google's pending $3 billion DoubleClick acquisition and Microsoft's massive aQuantive buyout.

Smaller deals during third quarter continued to fuel the sectors, including two major portals snapping up ad networks: Yahoo's purchase of Blue Lithium and AOL's acquisition of Tacoda.

Traditional media
Thanks to News Corp., newspapers had a robust third quarter, with its $5.6 billion deal to acquire Dow Jones. That move drove up deal value 37% for the first three quarters of 2007 compared with the year-ago period, according to Jordan Edmiston research.

The report noted that activity in the consumer-magazine sector had slowed in the third quarter, although through the first three quarters deal value remains more than 80% above the same period last year.
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