In this weekly segment, ExchangeWire sums up key industry updates in ad tech from around the globe. In this edition: Oracle wins the bid to become TikTok’s US partner, but it’s revealed that it won’t be given the app’s original source code; digital publishers in Australia unite to express their fear that the ACCC’s News Media Bargaining Code could threaten diversity in the sector; sources predict that the FTC could be ready to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google by the end of 2020; and the WFA launches a cross-media measurement framework.
After weeks of speculation around the future of TikTok in America, parent company ByteDance has chosen software heavyweight Oracle as its US tech partner. The result comes as a surprise to some after rival firm Microsoft and partner Walmart were pegged as the most likely to win the bid for the short-form video app’s US operations.
Despite winning the bid, reports that surfaced over the weekend suggest that the deal will not include the original algorithm behind the popular app. According to a source cited by South China Morning Post, the US team will be expected to develop a new code for TikTok’s US arm. ByteDance had told potential bidders and US authorities of this decision, reported the anonymous source.
The move follows new restrictions on the export of any native technology to the US imposed by the Chinese government earlier this month. The new regulation stipulates that Chinese firms must gain official permission from the government to sell their software abroad.
10 of Australia’s largest digital publishers have come together to express their fear that the ACCC’s News Media Bargaining Code may damage the diversity of the country’s media.
In a joint statement, the collective called on the industry body to work with tech giants Google and Facebook to guarantee that the new code does not “disadvantage the rich variety of new media voices that have sprung up over the last decade and a half”.
The voicing of these concerns follows Facebook’s threat to bar news content from being displayed to or shared by its Australian users in response to the code. Fellow big tech firm Google, which will also be subjected to the code, stated that they may be ‘forced’ to introduce new fees if the code is enforced, a claim which has been dismissed by ACCC chairman Rod Sims.
The group, which includes Urban List, Junkee Media, Concrete Playground, and The Daily Aus, said that, if carried out, Facebook’s ban could be devastating to smaller digital publishers.
“We believe it is important for measures to be introduced to bring the Australian media industry to a more even playing field, however we are concerned that the current proposal has potential to just further entrench the large additional media companies and accidentally destroy media diversity in the process”, reads part of the statement.
The US’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is believed to be preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook by the end of this year. The anticipated legal action would mark a culmination of the FTC’s investigation into the social media giant’s acquisition of smaller companies, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
Whilst the FTC initially approved the purchases, it has the power to review past deals, and is believed to be re-examining these acquisitions in the light of a larger investigation into anticompetitive practices within the wider tech industry. This larger antitrust probe saw Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg questioned over his company’s behaviour towards emerging competitors, alongside the bosses of fellow big tech firms Amazon, Apple, and Google, in a landmark hearing in July.
Despite reports, the Commission has yet to officially reach a decision over whether or not to file a lawsuit, and the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming elections could impact on the outcome of any lawsuit the FTC may decide to file. Therefore, it’s too soon to say with any certainty that a new antitrust suit against Facebook will go ahead before the close of 2020.
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has revealed that it has developed a dual cross-media measurement framework and technical solution for advertisers. The Cross Media Measurement Solution has been designed to give advertisers a more accurate understanding of the reach of their campaigns, as well as the frequency at which they are shown.
Developed over the last 18 months, the WFA consulted with advertisers, agencies, broadcasters, and measurement companies, and partnered with digital platforms to produce the current model. The Solution has already been tested by hundreds of measurement experts through an international open comment and peer review session, and will now undergo testing in the UK and US.
“Advertisers have long struggled with poor quality data that doesn’t allow them to properly assess how best to invest their ad budgets across multiple platforms and media. This body of work provides a blueprint to build a cross-media measurement solution that responds to advertiser needs. The WFA is proud to have facilitated this work in partnership with key markets, platforms and broadcasters and looks forward to seeing it widely implemented across geographies,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA.