CDD, allies, tell FTC it must do better job addressing mergers related to databroker companies

By: Jeff Chester | Jul 28 2014

Companies holding vast datasets of information on American and consumers, using techiques that have transformed the marketing industry, are being acquired by such giants as Google, Facebook, Acxiom and many others.  CDD organized a meeting today with officials working on competition issues at the Federal Trade Commission.  A number of key competition issues were discussed, including the need for the FTC to do a better job examining the anticompetitive impact of data related mergers.  We distributed the attached list, which are merely an informal snapshot of M&A activity in the digital d

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Facebook's geolocation tracking & targeting "research"--tracking your "mobile signal" to boost Ikea sales

By: Jeff Chester | Jul 14 2014

Marketing companies test--yes, that's what they do.  But in the digital age, where the ability to closely follow, analyze and influence an individual based on their location and data is a common practice, market research requires new safeguards.  Agencies working with Facebook just won a award for its use of research in the EU.  But what was done raises questions, and is linked, in our opinion, to Facebook's work to

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Facebook's "research" to help its advertisers better target you, inc. with Instagram

By: Jeff Chester | Jul 8 2014

Facebook is expanding its research activities in order to encourage the largest brand advertisers to spend more money on its online and mobile platforms.  Its research isn't really about objective scholarship--but about better targeting you and your network of friends and contacts.  For example, Facebook is using research to enhance how its Instagram acquisition can make more money, recently explaining that "Instagram is an incredible platform for marketers to influence the way people feel about the world." Facebook's

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