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Wall Street’s 10 Biggest Deals of Q1 2014

Facebook and Google are just two of the companies with multibillion-dollar deals in early 2014

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M&A activity stormed out of the gate in 2014, and if the first quarter is any indication, the rebound in deals forecast for this year will easily come to pass.

biggest-dealsLast year was disappointing for mergers and acquisitions. Indeed, despite having one of the biggest deals of all time — Verizon’s (VZ) $130 billion buyout of Vodafone’s (VOD) Verizon Wireless stake — 2013 was a lackluster year for M&A.

Although the total dollar value of transactions rose in 2013, the year in M&A was marked by the lowest number of announced deals and completed deals since 2005, according to Trefis.

This year, however, M&A should see a rebound as companies — especially private equity — have large war chests and easy, cheap access to capital. That’s a big part of why the first quarter saw so much M&A.

Deals are expected to accelerate through the remainder of 2014, if only because M&A activity tends to spur even more deals. Companies sitting on the outside often feel the need to scramble for their own big plays to remain competitive.

A number of familiar names have made splashes with M&A in the first quarter. Here are 10 of the biggest or best-known deals so far this year, from small to large:

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