Right before Christmas, when [company]Oracle[/company] announced plans to buy Datalogix it didn’t detail price. Now, The Wall Street Journal, (paywall) is filling in the blanks, reporting that the price tag is $1.2 billion, according to two anonymous sources “familiar with the deal.”
Oracle did not comment for this story.
Datalogix collects consumer sentiment by the truckload via agreements with [company]Facebook[/company], [company]Twitter[/company] and other sources. In its press release, Oracle said Datalogix “aggregates and provides insights on over $2 trillion in consumer spending from 1,500 data partners across 110 million households to provide purchase-based targeting and drive more sales.”
Also it said that Datalogix has more than 650 customers including “82 of the top 100 US advertisers such as [company]Ford[/company] and [company]Kraft[/company].” and, it said that 7 of the top 8 digital media publishers including the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter use Datalogix to “enhance their media.”
Hmmm. Given the tremendous amount of money, time and effort companies spend to better target marketing and ad pitches, that consumer info is probably worth a pretty penny. But the fact that Oracle, the database market leader and a power in enterprise software, is now buying up consumer data, raised more than a few eyebrows, especially coming as it did after a number of other deals that seem to be consolidating vast troves of consumer data in a few powerful hands. Oracle made this move after having already acquired Bluekai, a Cambridge, Mass. startup that parses inforamtion about what consumers are looking to buy both online and in the real world.
In particular, watchdog group The Center for Digital Democracy has asked the FTC review this deal with an eye as to whether it gives Oracle too much access to too much customer data. The CDD also cited Axciom’s buy of Liveramp in May; [company]Adobe Systems[/company]’ purchase of Neolane in June 2013, and Oracle’s acquisitions of Eloqua in December 2012 and Responsys a year later, as signs that data aggregation is becoming a problem.
The Datalogix-Facebook tie in is of special note since under an existing settlement with the FTC, Facebook agreed to obtain consumers’ permission before sharing their data. The specter of that agreement surfaced when Facebook bought WhatsApp.
For what it’s worth on the pricing issue, public companies do not have to disclose purchase price of a private company unless that price is “material” to their business. The definition of materiality is a bit loosey goosey, however. If you want to delve into the niceties, check out concept statement 2 from the Financial Accounting Standards Board.