This past week, mergermarket and Merrill Datasite released their report: Deal Drivers 2011 Half Year Report for the North American Region, providing an overview of January through June 2011 M&A activity.  M&A deals in the region have increased in volume by 51% (to 1,894 deals) and in value by 47% (for a total of US $526.6 billion) compared to the same period in 2010.  Volume was highest in the technology, media and telecom sector with nearly 350 announced transactions, while energy, mining, oil and gas deals were on top in terms of dollar value at US $160 billion.  With the recent volatility in the markets, it is not clear what the rest of the year will bring.