Will online video M&A activity heat up in 2010?

Take heart, merger and acquisition spending in the tech sector is gathering like a snowstorm over the Plains states and is poised to drop a foot of cash on worthy companies looking to expand, buy rivals or just raise capital.

Tech M&A spending has soared in the second half of the year, as the economy has begun to generate renewed interest in deals that sat dormant as buyers and sellers dickered over prices; in fact, the New York Times said the first 11 months of the year saw just half the number of $1 billion-plus sales as occurred each years from 2005 to 2007. But that's all changing as a number of big deals this summer stirred the pot and have pushed spending up 50 percent over the first six months of the year.

Analysts 451 Group says that at the beginning of the year startup tech companies that had $10 million in revenue were valued at just $9 million; now, it's closer to $14 million.

Is 2010 likely to see more deals in the online video space? Are CDNs and OVPs going to be looking for acquisitions? Or to be acquired? Or will the space see more startups eager to take a piece of the pie? The past year, while relatively quiet, nonetheless saw a spike in merger and acquisition talks involving -- wait for it -- Google. Rumors about YouTube's parent sparked Akamai's share price in October but proved empty. A Brightcove-Limelight hookup made the rounds as well, again, for naught. Google did bid to acquire video compression specialist On2 in August for $106.5 million (the deal is still not solid), and also at one point was rumored to be interested in Brighcove. The results? Nada. 

Stay tuned.

For more:
- see this Times article

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