New York—Merger and acquisition activity in the media and information markets increased in this year’s first half to 315 deals valued at more than $37 billion, according to investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group. Deal volume was up 12.5% and deal value was up 33.5% compared with the first half of last year, according to Jordan, Edmiston. M&A activity was led by the $11 billion acquisition of VNU by a consortium of private equity funds and the $6 billion purchase of Knight-Ridder by McClatchy Co. The strongest industry segments in terms of total deals in the first half were online media (up 79.2%), marketing and interactive services (up 40.0%) and exhibits and conferences (up 29.4%). Industries with the slowest M&A activity were educational and professional publishing (down 52.9%), newsletter publishing (down 41.7%) and consumer books (down 40.0%). Jordan, Edmiston said all indications are that the media M&A market will continue its robust pace.