Oracle paid north of $1.2B for Datalogix, says WSJ

Right before Christmas, when [company]Oracle[/company] announced plans to buy Datalogix it didn’t detail price. Now, The Wall Street Journal, (paywall)  is filling in the blanks, reporting that the price tag is $1.2 billion, according to two anonymous sources “familiar with the deal.”

Oracle did not comment for this story.

Datalogix collects consumer sentiment by the truckload via agreements with [company]Facebook[/company], [company]Twitter[/company] and other sources. In its press release, Oracle said Datalogix “aggregates and provides insights on over $2 trillion in consumer spending from 1,500 data partners across 110 million households to provide purchase-based targeting and drive more sales.”

Also it said that Datalogix has more than 650 customers including “82 of the top 100 US advertisers such as [company]Ford[/company] and [company]Kraft[/company].” and, it said that 7 of the top 8 digital media publishers including the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter use Datalogix to “enhance their media.”

Hmmm. Given the tremendous amount of money, time and effort companies spend to better target marketing and ad pitches, that consumer info is probably worth a pretty penny.  But the fact that Oracle, the database market leader and a power in enterprise software, is now buying up consumer data, raised more than a few eyebrows, especially coming as it did after a number of other deals that seem to be consolidating vast troves of consumer data in a few powerful hands. Oracle made this move after having already acquired Bluekai, a Cambridge, Mass. startup that parses inforamtion about what consumers are looking to buy both online and in the real world.

In particular, watchdog group The Center for Digital Democracy has asked the FTC review this deal with an eye as to whether it gives Oracle too much access to too much customer data. The CDD also cited Axciom’s buy of Liveramp in May; [company]Adobe Systems[/company]’ purchase of Neolane in June 2013, and Oracle’s acquisitions of Eloqua in December 2012 and Responsys a year later, as signs that data aggregation is becoming a problem.

The Datalogix-Facebook tie in is of special note since under an existing settlement with the FTC, Facebook agreed to obtain consumers’ permission before sharing their data. The specter of that agreement surfaced when Facebook bought WhatsApp.

The consolidation of data aggregators is a topic we can bring up next month with FTC Commissioner Julie Brill who will speak at Structure Data.

For what it’s worth on the pricing issue, public companies do not have to disclose purchase price of a private company unless that price is “material” to their business. The definition of materiality is a bit loosey goosey, however. If you want to delve into the niceties, check out concept statement 2 from the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

 

Watchdog group urges FTC to scrutinize latest Oracle deal

The Center for Digital Democracy wants the Federal Trade Commission to really look over Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Datalogix, announced Monday morning.

The combined consumer data gathered by [company]Datalogix[/company] (via partnerships with [company]Facebook[/company] and [company]Twitter[/company] and other sources) along with Oracle’s earlier buyout of BlueKai, another data broker, may give [company]Oracle[/company] just a little too much consumer data for the public’s own good, according to the CDD.

In a quick phone interview, CDD Executive Director Jeff Chester said the regulatory agency needs to look at data privacy issues when considering the competitive aspects of such M&A activity. The CDD has a list of M&A deals that it says indicate a hastening consolidation of data aggregating companies including Axcient’s buy of Liveramp in May; Adobe Systems’ acquisition of Neolane in June 2013, and Oracle’s acquisitions of Eloqua in December 2012 and Responsys a year later..

Per an earlier emailed statement Chester said:

“Through the data it gathers on what we buy, and with its relationship with Facebook and other powerful marketers, Datalogix consists of a online treasure trove of data on Americans. The Oracle deal announced today follows its recent acquisition as well of Bluekai, which holds reams of information on consumers.”

The CDD also pointed out that under a previous settlement with the FTC, Facebook agreed to obtain consumers’ permission before sharing their data. The specter of that agreement surfaced when Facebook bought WhatsApp.

Chester also said:

“[Given] the FTC’s 20-year consent decree with Facebook, and the role that Datalogix plays with the social network, it also must review whether the deal requires additional safeguards under that decree. The growing consolidation of information on every American and whatever we do — regardless of location, time of day, whether we are online or off — should trigger action, as well as soul searching by both policymakers and the public.”

In August the CDD asked the FTC to look into the practices both of data brokers — including Datalogix and Acxiom as well as marketing software companies like Salesforce.com — to make sure they were complying with the Safe Harbor between the U.S. and European Union. That safe harbor provision lets these U.S. vendors “self-certify” that they are adhering to strong data protection standards.

Oracle hopes to use that data to inform its marketing automation software and “data cloud.” In that arena it competes competition with [company]Salesforce.com[/company], [company]Adobe Systems[/company] and others.

Oracle had no comment for this story.

Note: this story was updated at 11:25 a.m. PST with Jeff Chester’s comment and again at 11:51 a.m. PST with CDD’s list of data aggregator-linked mergers and acquisitions..

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Vid-Biz: Widevine-Verimatrix, Qik, Lionsgate

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Qik Comes Built-In to the HTC EVO 4G Android Phone; not only will Qik work on the new HTC EVO 4G, Sprint’s WiMax phone, it will come pre-installed on each one. (TechCrunch)

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