State Facebook Antitrust Probe Expands To 47 AGs; US Headwinds Eat Into IPG’s Net Revenue

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Power In Numbers

Attorneys general from 31 additional states have joined New York AG Letitia James’s probe into Facebook, bringing the number of states involved to 46 (not including the territory of Guam, which is also hopping aboard). James first launched the probe, which will include an investigation into ad pricing, in September along with AGs from eight other states. “After continued bipartisan conversations with attorneys general from around the country, today I am announcing that we have vastly expanded the list of states, districts and territories investigating Facebook for potential antitrust violations,” a statement from her office reads. “As we continue our investigation, we will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions stifled competition and put users at risk.” TechCrunch has more.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Facebook VP of ads Rob Goldman is leaving the company after seven years, he tweeted on Tuesday. Goldman had a media controversy spill out of the trades and into the general news cycle last year, when he posted tweets disputing findings from Robert Mueller’s investigation that were later retweeted by President Trump. Facebook also overhauled its advertising and sales leadership in the past year, so this latest departure isn’t a huge shock. Goldman was a central player in Facebook’s growth and ads units since the company IPO’d in 2012. He also oversaw Facebook’s MRC audit and work with auditing and verification firms, and he dealt with fraud and malware security as well as the revenue-generating products.


Mastercard intends to acquire the customer data platform (CDP) SessionM. According to the release, “The addition of SessionM will enhance Mastercard’s ability to help brands around the world deliver personalized, real-time offers and comprehensive campaign measurement based on robust, data-driven insights.” SessionM is unique for a CDP in that it also has front-end execution. Read AdExchanger’s profile on SessionM and its competitive set. It also has an API that lets it plug into a merchant’s point of sale system. The acquisition of SessionM would allow Mastercard to provide its clients with better tools to manage their loyalty programs. More.

Acxiom Integrated

IPG’s organic net revenue increased 1.4% to $2.06 billion in Q3. But in the United States, organic net revenue was up just 0.6% due to tough comps which, combined with the loss of major clients, including the US Army and Fiat-Chrysler, resulted in a 4.8% net revenue headwind in the region. But CEO Michael Roth seemed unfazed. “Organic revenue growth, despite headwinds and challenging comps, are a clear signal our existing clients remain in investment mode when it comes to our services and our agencies continue to add value,” he said. According to Roth, Acxiom’s services are starting to play a larger role in pitches, and clients are into it. “Basically the integration into IPG is done,” Roth said. “I know that was one of the questions in our industry, whether we can absorb companies like this – and I think we’ve proven we can.” Read the release.

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