Fighting Patent Trolls; Carlyle Group Buys Symantec

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Don’t Feed The Trolls

The proliferation of apps and tech like QR codes has opened up the marketing world to millions in legal fees from patent trolls. It’s often cheaper paying a settlement than trying to win in court. Ad Age reports that the ANA has heard its members’ protests, and is working with Scottsdale Insurance Co. to absorb some of those costs. Settlement fees aren’t covered, but it gives agencies and tech companies a way to do battle in court without prohibitive costs. The insurer will make the service available only to ANA members. Read on.

Tech Buyout

Private equity firm Carlyle Group bought Veritas from Symantec for $8 billion. Veritas, a data storage and server management company, gets Bill Coleman as its chief executive. (Coleman is the founder and former CEO of Oracle-owned BEA Systems.) The deal marks the largest tech buyout so far this year. The equity-to-debt ratio was not disclosed, but a cohort of banks (including BofA Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, CUBS and Jefferies) will provide debt financing. Veritas pulled in $2.5 billion in revenue last year. Fortune has more. The private equity investment escalation in advertising and technology continues.

What’s Fresh At The Market

Twitter’s MoPub released its quarterly MarketPlace Report on Tuesday. The report surfaces some signs of a maturing digital ecosystem. First, it highlights how direct client relationships have helped “publishers and demand partners maximize the benefits of programmatic through Private Marketplaces.” It also shows how common it has become for pubs to produce new ad formats. Overall, the shift to programmatic appears to open up new methods for collaboration and creativity. More.

Konnichiwa Q1

Japanese holding company The Dentsu Group increased its Q1 2015 revenue by 14.9% YoY to ¥150 billion (about $1.2 billion). For those without a scorecard, Dentsu Group has a Japanese operation called Dentsu Inc. and an international business (which houses agencies like Carat, 360i and Isobar) called Dentsu Aegis Network. Dentsu Group’s Q1 coincides with Dentsu Aegis Network’s Q2, due to a super convoluted financial calendar situation. So with that in mind, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Q2 organic gross profit growth was 10.2%; it was 11.8% for the first half of 2015. Much of that growth came from EMEA (16.1% organic gross profit growth in Q2), driven by strong performance across all European countries, though Russia is still a little uncertain. As a whole, Dentsu Aegis Network saw $1.4 billion in net new business billings during the first half of 2015. Read the press release.


Wanna win an election? Google (and search engine algorithms in general) has enormous power to elevate candidates. A recent study says a search engine’s ranking of positive or negative news can significantly impact voter opinions, and elections in Australia and India revealed that, beyond a focus group, search engines have as much as a 3-4% swing in major elections. Considering the US presidency is won in a handful of purple states with razor-thin margins, that 3-4% can make Google an unmatched political player. More at Wired.

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