According to a newly released IDC study, the worldwide enterprise applications market saw a spectacular amount of merger and acquisition activities in 2005. The study finds the number of deals in 2005 climbed to 199, compared with 144 in 2004, and the value of these deals more than doubled to over $36 billion. In addition, there were seven deals worth more than $1 billion in 2005, compared with only one in 2004.

Regionally, there was an across-the-board increase in the number of enterprise application deals impacting Europe, Asia/Pacific and North America. IDC expects the numbers of mergers and acquisitions involving Europe and Asia/Pacific to rise dramatically throughout 2006, as hungry investors and vendors seek to replicate their expansion strategies in new locations.

In terms of vertical industry breakdowns, the horizontal enterprise market accounted for the biggest percentages of deals in 2004 and 2005, followed by financial services and engineering. Additional vertical industry vendors that were highly sought after in 2005 include retail, healthcare, banking and manufacturing.

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