links for 2009-10-04

  • You've probably read a bit about a new study/survey released this week titled "Americans Reject Tailored Advertising and Three Activities That Enable It." (Attention Marketers: The long version of the title is "Contrary to What Marketers Say, Americans Reject Tailored Advertising and Three Activities That Enable It.") It was the result of a collaboration between researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley; you can download a PDF (for free) here.
    The gist of the study: Two-thirds of Americans "do not want marketers to tailor advertisements to their interests" — and the proportion goes up when people find out exactly what sort of behavioral-tracking stuff marketers and media companies have been up to lately (see abstract below).
    (tags: privacy)
  • The value of venture-backed exits (which is almost entirely M&A these days) might be down about 50 percent in the third quarter, but total M&A activity (including public companies) is seeing a noticeable uptick.
    We ran some numbers on Crunchbase, which keeps track of all announced acquisitions, and in the third quarter $31.8 billion worth of acquisitions were announced, double the amount from the second quarter and up fourfold from the $7.6 billion low in the fourth quarter. That number was even up 23 percent from the year before.
    Many of the bigger deals involved publicly traded companies, such as Xerox buying Affiliated Computer services for $5.75 billion, Dell purchasing Perot Systems for $3.9 billion, and Adobe picking up Omniture for $1.8 billion. There were also a lot of biotech and pharmaceuticals deals such as Abbott Labs swallowing Solvay Pharmaceuticals ($6.6 billion) and Dainippon Sumitomo eating Sepracor ($2.6 billion).

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