Competition & Markets Authority
Competition concerns found in digital advertising merger
Taboola’s purchase of Outbrain raises competition concerns in the supply of content recommendation, a type of digital advertising.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating the anticipated purchase of Outbrain by Taboola. Both companies supply, amongst other things, content recommendation services to publishers, including major UK news sites.
Content recommendation is a type of digital advertising where readers visiting publishers’ sites are shown other content they might be interested in, often based on personalisation algorithms. When a reader clicks on a content recommendation advert, the publisher receives a share of the revenue generated. This type of advertising is one of the ways publishers make money from their web pages.
Taboola and Outbrain are the 2 largest providers of content recommendation services to publishers in the UK, with a combined market share of over 80%. They supply very similar services and are each other’s main competitor. In particular, the companies’ internal documents and information received from publishers showed the strong competition between the companies.
If the merger were to go ahead, the CMA is concerned that publishers in the UK will have a reduced choice of supplier for content recommendation services. This could result in a worsening of terms for publishers and a reduction in their share of advertising revenue. A large proportion of the publishers contacted by the CMA were concerned about the impact of the deal if it goes ahead.
Joel Bamford, CMA Senior Director of Mergers recently said:
Online advertising, including content recommendation, is a really important revenue stream for publishers, including news websites. Our merger investigation has found that the current competition between Taboola and Outbrain means publishers can negotiate better revenue share deals and contract terms. If the companies were to merge, this competition in content recommendation would be reduced, and publishers could lose out.
If the merging businesses are unable to offer remedies which address the CMA’s concerns, the deal will be referred for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation.
For more information, visit the Taboola / Outbrain merger case page.
For media queries, contact the CMA press team on 020 3738 6460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest News from
Competition & Markets Authority
Metallurgy firms abandon merger during CMA investigation19/01/2021 12:20:00
The CMA no longer intends to refer the merger of TTI and Tronox to an in-depth investigation, after Tronox’s announcement to abandon the deal.
CMA breaks up motor parts merger13/01/2021 12:20:00
The CMA will require TVS Europe Distribution to sell 3G in order to protect competition in the commercial vehicle and trailer parts sector.
CMA to investigate Google’s ‘Privacy Sandbox’ browser changes08/01/2021 14:25:00
The CMA has opened an investigation into Google’s proposals to remove third party cookies and other functionalities from its Chrome browser.
CMA to investigate NVIDIA’s takeover of Arm07/01/2021 12:20:00
The CMA is inviting interested third parties to provide initial views on the anticipated acquisition of Arm by NVIDIA.
Metallurgy buyout raises competition concerns05/01/2021 09:10:00
The CMA has found that Tronox’s anticipated purchase of TTI raises competition concerns in the supply of chloride slag and titanium dioxide pigment.
CMA secures affordable supply of key bipolar drug21/12/2020 10:20:00
The CMA has accepted legally binding commitments from Essential Pharma to continue supplying a key bipolar drug at an affordable price for at least 5 years.
CMA publishes final report in funerals market investigation21/12/2020 09:20:00
The CMA has published the final report on its in-depth market investigation into funeral services, confirming its remedies for the sector.
Construction suppliers fined £15m for breaking competition law18/12/2020 12:20:00
The CMA has fined 2 major suppliers to the construction industry more than £15m for illegally colluding to reduce competition and keep prices up.