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Thanks Verizon! M&A activity finally on the rise

September 3, 2013: 12:42 PM ET

Verizon and Microsoft push deal activity past 2012 levels.

FORTUNE -- Global merger and acquisition activity is finally on the rise, thanks to a pair of massive telecom deals.

The top transaction was Verizon Communications (VZ) agreeing to buy a 45% stake in Verizon Wireless from joint venture partner Vodafone PLC, in a deal valued at a whopping $130 billion. It's the third-largest M&A deal of all time, and was followed by Microsoft (MSFT) announcing that it will acquire Nokia's phone unit for nearly $7.2 billion (which is Microsoft's second-largest purchase, behind Skype).

These deals mean that global M&A is now at nearly $1.55 billion so far in 2013, according to Thomson Reuters. That is a 1% bump over the same period in 2012. For context, global M&A during the first half of 2013 was down 8% from last year's tally.

Global telecom M&A is now $231.6 billion, which is its highest YTD level since 2006:

Source: Thomson Reuters

Source: Thomson Reuters

Goldman Sachs (GS) continues to be the top financial advisor on M&A, having served as one of Vodafone's advisors. Verizon advisors included Guggenheim Partners, Morgan Stanley (MS), and ex-Morgan Stanley banker Paul Taubman.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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