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the Biggest Tech Mergers and Acquisitions of 2020



This article is published in collaboration with Visual Capitalist

by Omri Wallach


The Biggest Tech Mergers and Acquisitions of 2020


For most businesses around the world, 2020 was a year of difficulties, lost business, and economic hardship. For Big Tech, it was a boon.


After COVID-19 hit hard in March, tech companies started to see their customer bases and revenues grow at an increased rate as people were stuck at home and utilizing their services.


Since down markets are the perfect time to consolidate, 2020 also saw big tech companies take the opportunity to grow their business with major mergers and acquisitions (M&A). After a quieter year in 2019 that saw tech investment activity dip, it was a resurgence to expected form.


In this graphic, we visualize the year’s biggest tech deals above $1 billion using data from Computerworld, which tracked the year’s biggest acquisitions.


Deal Activity from the Get-Go


Though 2020 was all about COVID-19 and its impact on the market, the tech sector had major deal flow even before the pandemic began.


By the end of February, six of the 19 biggest tech mergers and acquisitions of the year had already occurred—and the month of February alone saw the most major deals of any month with four.


The first deals of the year were also some of the biggest. Morgan Stanley’s purchase of online brokerage E*TRADE for $13 billion and Koch Industries’ $11 billion completed takeover of software company Infor were the 4th and 5th biggest tech acquisitions of 2020.


Other big moves included purchases from tech and payments firms Salesforce, Visa, and Intuit, as well as private equity firm Insight Partners.


The Biggest 2020 Deals Were Saved for Last


After a quiet March, only a few large deals occurred from April to the summer.


Nvidia’s $6.9 billion purchase of network chip producer Mellanox Technologies in May was more than a year in the making, and Uber’s $2.65 billion acquisition of food delivery rival Postmates in July significantly consolidated the U.S. food delivery scene.


As it turned out, the biggest deals of 2020 were back-loaded for the end of the year. Just under half of 2020’s billion-dollar tech M&As happened from September‒December, including the year’s three largest tech acquisitions:


Of the 19 deals over $1 billion tracked above, Salesforce and Nvidia were the only companies to make multiple major acquisitions. And although tech saw gains across the sector, most of the major M&A activity was centered around semiconductors.


As 2020 winds down, the market focus on tech is expected to last into 2021. However, the markets and the world at large continue to deal with COVID-19.


The rollout of vaccines has put the world on a timeline to reach a post-COVID era. How will the tech landscape be affected?


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