Amazon At Risk Of GDPR Fine; Voodoo Buys Bidshake In Mobile Mashup

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Not Chump Change

Another day, another fine against Big Tech. And this one could be the largest ever, or at least in Europe. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon faces a potential $425 million penalty proposed by a European Union privacy regulator, the data-protection commission, or CNPD, in Luxembourg – home of Amazon’s European headquarters. Though specific allegations were not disclosed, the CNPD claims that Amazon’s collection and use of personal information violated the GDPR. The proposed fine would represent roughly 2% of Amazon’s reported net income of $21.3 billion for 2020, and 0.1% of its $386 billion in sales. Under the GDPR, regulators can fine up to 4% of a company’s annual revenue. This fine requires approval by other EU privacy regulators, which could take months and ultimately result in a lower — or higher — penalty. The fine comes a month after Amazon won a major court fight over $303 million the European Commission alleged that Amazon owed in back taxes to Luxembourg. Read on

All Fun And Games

The mobile game publisher Voodoo acquired the mobile marketing company Bidshake this week. Terms were not disclosed. The deal’s significance is that it marks yet another expansion by mobile gaming companies into mobile ad tech. The loss of third-party IDs and Apple’s IDFA privacy measures mean that companies with first-party data footprints will have a major advantage in mobile advertising. Game publishers are seizing the open ground vacated by independent attribution and ad tech; And they can put those companies to use with first-party data. The same thing is happening from the other side, too. The mobile marketing platform AppLovin has been on an acquisition spree, including last year’s blockbuster deal for the mobile game studio MachineZone. 

Crouding Out

UK-based digital marketing agency Croud is expanding in the United States after recently hiring a head of mergers and acquisitions. Adweek reports that the 10-year-old company is eyeing M&A with complementary businesses across creative, Amazon marketing and data analytics. Exclusive talks have begun with one UK firm, while early talks are underway with another in the United States. The M&A strategy will be led by Amit Khanna, an investment professional and corporate lawyer, as the company aims to grow with the increased demand for digital transformation services attributed to COVID-19. 

But Wait, There’s More!

In response to a series of New York Times reports, Google is changing its algorithm and doing more to police harmful content. [NYT]

Colorado is poised to be the third state to enact a comprehensive privacy law, following California and Virginia, to take effect in July 2023. [JDSupra]

NBCUniversal’s Scene in Color Film Series showcases BIPOC creators across its One Platform. [eurweb

Ad tech has matured, and a new class of more defensible public companies are bringing more public and private investors back to the category [Mobile Dev Memo]

Instacart has launched a $1 million advertising initiative to help Black-owned consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands within its marketplace. [release]

In-app advertising and DOOH platform MobileFuse has teamed up with Near to provide its data intelligence offering to MobileFuse customers, along with audience segmentation and activation capabilities. [release]

You’re Hired

Grayscale Investments LLC, a digital currency asset manager, has hired Deborah Bussière as its first chief marketing officer. [WSJ]

TheWrap has hired Dan Strauss as its first chief digital officer. [TheWrap]

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