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Sarah Grillo / Axios

Acxiom, one of the largest publicly-traded ad tech firms, has sold the majority of its business to Interpublic Group (IPG), one of the largest global advertising holding companies, for $2.3 billion, the companies announced Monday.

Why it matters: It's the latest major ad tech company to go through a big sale as the data-driven advertising market continues to be squeezed by business pressure from tech giants like Google and Facebook and regulatory pressure around data privacy.

What's at stake: The deal allows Acxiom to offload its Marketing Solutions division, which took a hit when Facebook began cracking down on third-party data brokers after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. It gives IPG access to billions of consumer data sets to its grow its data-driven, ad-buying business.

  • Analysts note that the acquisition reaffirms IPG's commitment to remaining a publicly-traded company.
  • Arun Kumar, IPG’s first global chief data and marketing technology officer, will oversee the acquisition.
  • But, but, but: Senior advertising analyst Brian Weiner warns in a Wall Street Journal interview that the acquisition could pose some risk to IPG, given all of the public and regulatory attention around data privacy.

Acxiom will remain a publicly-traded company, and will retain LiveRamp, a platform that helps mine, identify and move data that it acquired in 2014. LiveRamp has since become its fastest-growing division.

  • Acxiom says it will rename its company "LiveRamp" and will begin trading its common stock under the new ticker symbol “RAMP."
  • Acxiom says it's offloading its marketing solutions business, which accounts for the majority of its revenue, to help drive greater financial flexibility for further deals down the line.
  • The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, pending regulatory approval.

Between the lines: Acxiom had been looking to sell off its marketing solutions business for some time. Several agencies were interested in the acquisition, according to previous reports.

  • Acxiom says it finally sold to IPG because it offered an all-cash transaction and because of the strong working relationship the two companies have already created.
  • Acxiom and IPG formed a global partnership late last year to strengthen IPG’s data and analytics capabilities for its media buying and digital agencies, Initiative and UM.

Go deeper

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
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DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

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