The state of the deal: M&A trends 2018 | Report | Annual comprehensive look at M&A activity. 1,000+ corporate executives and private equity investors have weighed in: Expect M&A activity to continue accelerating, with tech in the driver’s seat. Corporate and private equity executives foresee an acceleration of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in 2018, both in the number of deals and the size of the transactions. Technology acquisition is the new No. 1 driver of M&A pursuits and dealmakers report using non-spreadsheet based M&A technology tools to help reduce conflicts, costs, and time.