Yahoo, AOL Merger Talk Bubbles Up Again; Google Tracks Store Visits

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Merger Talk

Do Yahoo and AOL belong together? Some Yahoo shareholders are trying hard to make the case, as Business Insider reporter Nicholas Carlson reports in The New York Times Magazine. These investors have advanced spreadsheets "that calculate that AOL and Yahoo are worth between 70 and 80 percent more when combined than they are apart.” The prospect is enticing to some who have lost faith in Mayer’s leadership vision and would like to see Tim Armstrong in charge of Yahoo. But even if Mayer and Armstrong could be won over, how to fit together all the overlapping parts (e.g., Adap.tv/BrightRoll)? Read it.

Tracking The Store Visit

Google is letting advertisers PetSmart and Office Depot measure brick-and-mortar visits and link those back to digital ad exposure. The capability is an add-on to AdWords' Estimated Total Conversions solution, which also looks at phone calls and ad exposure across devices. “It's more important than ever for businesses to understand the impact that search ads have in driving visits to your physical locations, whether that’s a store, hotel, auto dealership or restaurant,” says a blog post.” Read it. 2015…the year of attribution.

Kraft Changes

A CEO shuffle is brewing at Kraft Foods. On Thursday, the company revealed Chairman John Cahill will take over for CEO Tony Vernon, effective next week. The move came as a surprise to analysts, according to the WSJ. “The industry is undergoing a great deal of rapid change,” said Cahill in a press release, “and it is important that we keep pace and indeed stay ahead of these changes as we build a stronger Kraft.” Those changes include marketing, where Kraft is aggressively bringing its first-party data to bear. AdExchanger story.

Where TV Ends And Video Begins

Videology CEO Scott Ferber says programmatic TV requires three components. "It needs to be automated, data-driven and cross-device, meaning it’s not just the living room TV set,” he told Beet.TV at the TV Of Tomorrow show in New York City. “I think it will start at the traditional linear … television-buying groups inside the large agency holding companies." Watch the video interview.

Datalogix Reality Check

In early December we reported that data solutions company Datalogix has been looking for a buyer, and investors hope to get as much as $1 billion. In a follow-up story, PE HUB’s sources suggest the exit will come in at around $375 million to $500 million. “[Datalogix] raised capital in the Spring at a post money above $600 million,” said one PE HUB source, identified as a banker. “Hard to imagine them selling for anything below that level.” Read on.

Retail Consolidation

E-tail giant CommerceHub will wrangle some retail tech, acquiring Mercent for an undisclosed sum. Mercent CEO Eric Best will remain in his post and report to CommerceHub CEO Frank Poore. “By combining CommerceHub and Mercent, we will have an offering that enables retailers to radically expand their product assortment, generate greater demand, and optimize customer delivery from any source of supply – including stores, warehouses, drop-shippers or third-party sellers,” Poore said in a press release.

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