PE Firm Buys Peer39 For $18M; Details Start To Emerge On FTC Antitrust Probe

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Without Peer

Sizmek offloaded its contextual advertising company Peer39 to private equity firm O3 Industries for $18 million, Business Insider’s Lauren Johnson reports. O3 reportedly beat out other bidders including The Trade Desk and Zefr. So what’s the future of Peer39? Mario Diez, whose company PointRoll was acquired by Sizmek back in 2015, will be CEO. Alex White, a Sizmek exec who led product and accounts, will be Peer39’s new chief operating officer. More.

Spring Fever

T-Mobile’s pending merger with Sprint gets the attention, but last month T-Mobile quietly acquired mobile ad tech company PushSpring. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and it’s unclear if PushSpring will be absorbed or remain an independent subsidiary, GeekWire reports. It’s an unusual move for T-Mobile, which hasn’t acquired startups or advertising businesses before. But PushSpring is well suited for a mobile telco. The company started as a tool for app developers to target ads or push notifications. Last year it launched a data marketplace for audience packages (“big-box retail visitors,” “car shoppers,” “fitness enthusiasts,” etc.) based on its own SDK network and deals with other mobile data companies. PushSpring works with Pinsight Media, for example, which Sprint sold to InMobi last year as part of a strategic partnership, and with Ericsson-owned Placecast, a location data provider. More.

Investigation Nation

A few details are starting to emerge about what areas the Federal Trade Commission will look into as it embarks on its Facebook antitrust probe. At the top of the list: Facebook’s previous acquisitions. The agency wants to determine if Facebook bought companies like WhatsApp and Instagram before they could grow into a threat, The Wall Street Journal reports. The FTC has already begun reaching out to the former CEOs of companies that Facebook acquired. Facebook, which has purchased more than 90 companies in the past 15 years, argues that its acquisitions have fueled innovation and given consumers more choice. The FTC has been contemplating how to regulate big tech companies that buy smaller competitors in adjacent categories. Existing antitrust law primarily looks at market cap and the acquisition of direct competitors to determine if there’s been anticompetitive behavior. More.

Uber Cuts

Two months after Uber shook up its marketing leadership, it laid off 400 of its staffers. But why? Uber, having hit Wall Street, is past rapid growth mode and is now trying to steady the ship, according to The Drum. “Newly public companies who have high expense to revenue ratios while private often need to cut costs to meet the goals they have promised public investors they would achieve,” Brian Wieser, GroupM’s global president of business intelligence, told The Drum. “For any company who has made these promises, the more significant the expenses as a percentage of revenue, the more significant the cuts that will be needed.” More.

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