Mergers and acquisitions, typically known as M&A transactions, often involve colossal amounts of money and a continuous stream of documentation and information. Therefore, when it comes to M&A transactions, it is imperative to perform due diligence accurately. That means allowing specific individuals to access information, sensitive PDF files, classified data, and valuable statistics while retaining an extremely high level of document security. For instance, MGM and Amazon recently announced a merger agreement for $8.45 billion. This is just one of the numerous examples of the size of a large M&A deal.

Deals of these sizes typically involve a lengthy due diligence procedure requiring data to be analyzed, examined, and studied without risking unauthorized individuals viewing or accessing them.

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Virtual data rooms: popular yet deeply flawed 

While there are several ways of securing M&A transactions, such as virtual data rooms (VDRs), there are multiple loopholes and disadvantages to using them. For instance, virtual data rooms do not adhere to document security requirements for all kinds of information. 

They also do not come with data retention requirements that may be needed to maintain specific record types in accordance with the law. In addition, individuals can potentially flip through digital documents and miss out on relevant details, later complaining about terms that they signed off on. This is why NDA agreements, contractual obligations, and M&A transactions must be appropriately read before being digitally signed. Another major disadvantage of a virtual data room is the cost needed to set it up and archive them as you go along the M&A transaction. 

Given that M&A agreements are a never-ending stream of numbers, stats, documentation, and information, a virtual data room could have several digital files so extensive that they could equate to hundreds of filing cabinets, causing the system to slow down and bloat. Not to mention the enormous cost that could accumulate in maintaining those documents. Besides, system problems in virtual data rooms, such as errors and glitches, may take place that could threaten the security of confidential documents.

Rather than spending hard-earned money on bloated software with limited features and functionalities, using PDF DRM for M&A transactions is the only proven way of eliminating threats and enabling a seamless process, all in conformity with the law.

PDF DRM — the only robust document security

Document security through digital rights management [DRM] offers you complete controls in how to protect classified M&A information and data. You can revoke and resume access to M&A documents at any time, even if the PDF files have been downloaded on your users’ machines. For instance, if you have introduced an updated PDF file, access to the previous one can be revoked immediately, thus making the new one available without modifying records. In addition, PDF DRM also logs the use of the document to individual machines and licenses when needed. With granular and overall control of your M&A transaction procedure, you can rely on DRM to always be in charge of the data and systems.

With PDF DRM, there is no need for entering passwords to share the documents. The right PDF DRM solution provides secure and transparent keys that can be transferred to authorized devices and locked to specific IP addresses and machines. In addition, unlike security rooms, users cannot share access information, and therefore your classified documents stay secured from the reach or view of unintended users. PDF DRM provides you with secure and complete control over how your M&A PDF documents are distributed. You can choose to allocate your secured PDF files just like any other file and ensure they are never exposed to the wrong individuals. With DRM controls on M&A documents, you can be assured that no contents will be copied, shared, printed or downloaded without your permission, giving you holistic reign over your protected documents at all times.

In addition, DRM controls also offer you controls, wherein you can:

  • Prevent screen grabbing or screenshots
  • Disable printing or limit the number of copies.
  • Disallow editing and copying of data within the document.
  • Expire documents after several days of usage, views, prints, or at a fixed date.
  • Revoke documents and user access immediately, irrespective of their location.
  • Allow offline use without forcing users to be present online to view the M&A documents.


Privacy and data security due diligence are paramount because, if left uncontrolled, susceptibilities in a company’s security stance or non-compliant privacy procedures can endanger M&A dealings. All stakeholders and involved parties must receive access to sensitive M&A transactional documents when needed. And the only secure way of doing this is through PDF DRM solutions. It helps ensure the due diligence process goes smoothly and ensures thorough end-to-end document security to avoid misuse, theft, and data breaches.