The Big Story: M&A Gravy

The Big Story podcast

The first half of 2020 was pretty lean. This year is on track to be the slowest since 2015 in terms of deal activity, according to LUMA Partners.

But set the table and get out the gravy boat, because strategic M&A started to pick back up in Q3 and the momentum has continued into the fourth quarter.

Just last week, Norwegian telco Telenor sold Tapad to Experian, location data company Near bought fellow location data company Teemo and HuffPo finally found a new home with BuzzFeed.

Perhaps “the forces of M&A and consolidation have finally turned the page on what was certainly a gloomy string of fire sales [and] bankruptcies … that brought an end to some very storied ad tech companies,” says executive editor Zach Rodgers, pointing to Videology, Rocket Fuel and [x+1], Sizmek, AudienceScience and Collective.

But what about potential privacy issues loitering with intent in the background of some of these deals? Although Experian, for example, no doubt did its due diligence on Tapad, it’s a mighty interesting time to be buying a cross-device tracking (ahem, sorry, ID resolution) company considering that privacy regulations are coming into effect in the United States and around the world.

Also in this episode: What can brands and agencies do to take a more active role and make more responsible, positive choices about companies they work with and the environments that their media dollars support?

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