Digiday DealBook: Twitter acquisition gets messy, Google involved in another anti-trust investigation, and more


Welcome to Digiday’s DealBook. Our focus is to create a quick and easy rundown of the deals, acquisitions and hires that took place last week. The goal is to inform and update you on the latest happenings in the industry at the top of your inbox each Monday.  — Carly Weihe

—The social media world is abuzz with the breaking news that Elon Musk wants to back out from buying Twitter. After weeks of delay on the purchase, Musk said he no longer wanted to purchase the company because of the uncertainty regarding the number of bots on the platform. In response, Twitter filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Musk to enforce the original acquistion deal — or face a $1 billion breakup fee.

—Netflix partnered with Microsoft to power the streaming service’s ad tech. The partnership comes after a search for a provider after Netflix said it would move toward a new, advertisement-based model this past April. With this partnership, the company will begin building a new ad tier, likely to come out by the end of this year.

—Google is trying to find a middle ground with the Justice Department following a possible antitrust lawsuit regarding Google’s parent company Alphabet. The Justice Department is currently investigating whether Google is acting fairly in its role on both sides of the advertising front: auctioneering and brokering that could result in Google spinning off its ads business. This investigation comes amid Google being in the crosshairs of another investigation by the European Commission. This lawsuit is separate from the lawsuit regarding Google’s tracking transparency filed in January by multiple attorney generals.

In other news…

  • Disney has reportedly reached a deal with The Trade Desk, which will allow Disney to have more effective, targeted ads toward its audiences across its platforms.
  • Despite Meta CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg pouring billions of dollars into his illusive metaverse, Meta stocks plummeted in recent days amidst the uncertainty of the economy and of the metaverse itself.
  • Former President Trump has stepped down from the board of his media company Trump Media and Technology Group, weeks before the SEC is expected to subpoena members of the company. Trump was one of the six board members to quietly step down prior to a former round of subpoenas regarding the merger between Trump Media and Digital World Acquisition Corp.
  • Redbubble, an online marketplace selling unique designs powered by over 800,000 independent artists, is partnering with The Pub and Team One, two agencies under parent company Publicis Groupe Network. Redbubble’s goal of this partnership is to increase brand awareness and boost its Gen Z audience.
  • Modern Luxury Media acquired Glocally, a social content company. This acquisition will strengthen Modern Luxury’s existing social media creator partnerships through new strategy efforts by Glocally.
  • Netflix is reportedly deepening its search in the advertisement search to target ads for its top-performing shows. This would mean Netflix will have to renegotiate its deals with studios.
  • Accenture, a professional services company, specializing in digital, cloud, and security, reached a deal to acquire The Stable, a commerce agency that helps companies build digital commerce channels. With this acquisition, The Stable will enhance Accenture’s ability to create digital commerce platforms for its clients and strengthen performance and growth.
  • Creative media platform Unity will merge with ironSource in a deal reportedly worth $4.4 billion. IronSource is an app development company that will complement Unity’s creative content.  

Additionally, below is a list of industry hires and promotions

  • Vimeo hired Ashraf Alkarmi as chief product officer
    • He was previously the general manager of Freevee (previously known as IMDb TV)
  • Vox Media promoted Priyanka Arya to svp, head of consumer revenue
    • She was previously svp, strategy and business development at the company
  • Twitter hired Rebbeca Hahn as vp of global communications
    • She was previously the CCO at Bird
  • Vimeo hired Lynn Girotto as CMO
    • She was previously the CMO at Heap
  • Crain Communications hired Jon Otto as chief commercial officer
    • He was previously a senior vp of client partnerships at Axios
  • Semafor hired Meera Pattni as head of global communications
    • She was previously a svp of communications at Condé Nast
  • Bloomberg Media has hired Nick Sallon as the company’s first chief partnerships officers
    • He was previously the head of long-form partnerships at Twitter
  • 3Pas Studios hired Steven Wolfe Pereira as chief business officer
    • He was previously the CEO of Encantos

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