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M&A Activity To Remain Strong In 2017 As Retailers, Manufacturers Buy Tech Startups

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Retailers, manufacturers and an array of nontech companies spent nearly $10B on tech startups this year, about double 2015's activity.

Two of the biggest deals of the year were Walmart's $3.3B purchase of Jet.com, and General Motors' $1B acquisition of Cruise Automation, a self-driving car company.

Traditionally, these types of companies would build up their own divisions or merge with well-established companies, not startups. But this trend of scouring Silicon Valley for companies will likely pick up in 2017, especially with funding for expansions harder to come by and tech causing huge disruptions in every industry, the Wall Street Journal reported.  

The catch: You're pretty much guaranteed to overpay. Excitement around startups pushes their valuations high, so buying one is extremely expensive relative to revenue. Still, many shareholders are accepting the risk for prospects of growth and appealing to younger consumers. [WSJ]