The value of mergers and acquisitions in the North American and European technology industries almost doubled in the first half of 1999, according to a survey by investment bank Broadview. The study identified 2,900 transactions valued at $545 billion in this year's period, compared with 2,467 deals worth $283 billion in the 1998 period.

Much of the growth was from consolidation of Internet businesses, where companies are trying to establish major presences in fragmented industries. The value of "digital media" deals in North America jumped nearly 700 percent, from $4.6 billion in the first half of 1998 to more than $36.5 billion in that period this year.

The biggest deal on the list was Olivetti's deal to buy Telecom Italia for $66.6 billion. At the same time, European companies increased their acquisitions of U.S. companies--the value of those transactions rose from $18.5 billion in the first half of 1998 to $72.8 billion in 1999.

Top 10 Tech Transactions

Buyer/Seller Value in billions

Olivetti/Telecom Italia $66.6

AT&T/MediaOne $58.0*

Vodafone/Airtouch Communications $55.8

Telecom Italia/Telecom Italia Mobile** $24.7

Lucent Technologies/Ascend Communications $19.8

AlliedSignal/Honeywell $13.8*

British Aerospace/Marconi Electronic $12.7

Global Crossing/Frontier $12.6*

DaimlerChrysler/Casa (87 percent) $10.5*

Mannesmann/Omnitel Pronto Italia and Infostrada*** $8.5

NOTE: Rankings are for deals announced in North America and Europe, by value, first six months of 1999

*Pending

**Remaining 40 percent

***Stake in Omnitel raised by 20 percent to 55 percent; in Infostrada, remaining 50 percent

SOURCE: Broadview