MediaMath Seriously Seeks A Suitor; Facebook Suspends Trump Until At Least 2023

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Seriously Looking

Although MediaMath has been avidly pursuing strategic options for a year, including a potential sale, it hasn’t worked out. But now the company has hired a team of bankers to get the ball rolling again while ad tech M&A and IPOs are hot. The Wall Street Journal reports that MediaMath has tapped LUMA Partners and Centerview Partners as advisers. Interest in MediaMath’s DSP was reportedly cool during the COVID-19 pandemic as advertisers paused their spending. MediaMath also had more than $500 million in debt and investments to recoup, as Digiday reported last year, which made it a tough sell. However, the company recently reached out to a number of prospective buyers, including private equity firms, as the digital ad market improves and some ad tech companies see surging valuations.


You’re out, Don. On Friday, Facebook said that President Donald Trump will be banned from its platform for at least two years. Facebook did not indicate exactly when or if the ban would be lifted. The Donald was initially booted off Facebook for his alleged role in inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol building. If Facebook doesn’t extend the ban, Trump would be eligible to return to Facebook in January 2023 – before the next presidential election – but Facebook said in a blog post that it will look to experts to decide “whether the risk to public safety has receded” in order to inform its decision. Facebook also said that it will no longer keep posts by politicians up on its site by default if their speech breaks its rules, retreating from a policy announced two years ago that it would not interfere with political speech because it’s newsworthy and therefore should not be policed. That policy was put to the test after Trump’s inflammatory social media posts forced Facebook and other companies to step in. The New York Times has more.

Double Whammy

Speaking of Facebook, the company is facing two antitrust probes launched at the same time by the UK and European Union, marking a rare coordinated probe of a big US tech firm, CNBC reports. Europe’s latest beef with Facebook involves (you guessed it) unfair competition in social media and digital advertising markets through its collection and use of advertiser data. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is looking into whether Facebook abused the data it was able to gain from its advertising and single sign-on option, known as Facebook Login, to benefit its buying and selling platform, Facebook Marketplace, and its online dating service, Facebook Dating. Meanwhile, the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, is investigating whether Facebook breached its competition rules by using the advertising data it gathers from advertisers so as to better compete with them in markets where Facebook is active, such as classified ads.

But Wait, There’s More!

Mozilla is calling on TikTok to tighten its controls over political videos as the line blurs between paid influencers and paid advertising. [Digiday] Meanwhile, TikTok’s new privacy policy lets it collect biometric data, including “faceprints” and “voiceprints” from its users. [Business Insider]

The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s very active competition authority, isn’t letting the grass grow under new powers it gained this year to tackle big tech. The Federal Cartel Office has just announced a third proceeding against Google. [TechCrunch]

SEO tool provider Moz has been acquired by iContact Marketing Corp, a subsidiary of the publicly traded company, J2 Global. [Search Engine Land]

A surge in ad spending combined with an aging clientele is helping familiar big brands regain their edge on Amazon – and muscle out smaller brands. [Ad Age]

WFA is launching what it calls the first-ever global census of the advertising and marketing industry. [MediaPost]

Ad-supported streaming service Tubi has inked a deal with Cohen Media Group to exclusively stream 80 of its classic film titles, including “Howards End” and “Daughters Of The Dust.” [Deadline]

You’re Hired

Facebook has named longtime exec Marne Levine as its chief business officer in charge of a newly combined business unit that includes all of Facebook’s advertising businesses and global partnerships. [Axios]

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