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Week in Review: Tech’s trashiest merger

Hey everyone. Thank you for welcoming me into you inbox yet again.

Last week, I talked about Juul’s unraveling mission statement and the highly-valued startup’s new Big Tobacco CEO. I got some great email responses and plenty of a pro-Juul DMs.

If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox here, and follow my tweets here.

The big-hearted narrative

This section might slowly turn into my grievance of the week, but this week the tale isn’t a screed against Juul, it’s a prolonged eye rolling after the merger of two adtech companies held accountable for pumping the internet full of garbage.

Taboola and Outbrain have merged forming a$ 2 billion adtech giant. Those startup calls likely don’t mean much to you, but they’re both responsible for a lot of the publishing world’s junkiest ad units.

You’ve seen them. You’ve tried not to see them.

Taboola and Outbrain merge ..’ YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT’ https :// t.co/ 5DaTm5E6aQ

— Ross Caveille (@ rcaveille) October 3, 2019

These startups developed their networks by sending traffic from one spouse to another and incentivizing the flow of more traffic through them.

By adding a bit of Javascript, books were able to bring in traffic and more importantly effortless cash. It’s been an irresistible sell to abundance of publishers, but it’s also been an eyesore for many of them and a race to the bottom in terms of selling the most salacious headlines. This has brought in revenues to books that aren’t afraid to sell a bit of

Being an adtech ” giant ” is pretty relative these days. Taking on Google and Facebook’s overwhelming ad duopoly is an improbably noble goal — I would desire for a true-blue contestant to emerge — but I have very little faith that a frankensteined fusion of these two crap ad companies is going to do much to halt a struggle track, I hope someone else can find a path.

Taboola has pulled its content widget from InfoWars. A reminder that Taboola, Outbrain, et al. are part of the growing conspiracy theory problem. Some examples of Clinton propaganda on Taboola, etc. around the US election https :// t.co/ d8 0ij6xrIv pic.twitter.com/ GiZgeuPApb

— James Temperton (@ jtemperton) February 27, 2018

Send me feedback on Twitter @lucasmtny or email lucas@techcrunch.com

On to the rest of the week’s news.

Surface Duo Screen Shot 2019 10 02 at 8.27.54 AM

Trends of the week

Here are a few large-hearted news items from big companies, with green links to all the sweet, sweet added context šŸ˜› TAGEND

Microsoft’s dual screen unveil Microsoft dive headfirst into dual-screen folding showings at its hardware event this week. Take a peek at the Neo and Duo. Read more here. Tesla buys a startup Tesla has been arranging its efforts around robo taxies and its now making some acquisitions to bolster its existence. See them all here.

GAFA Gaffes

How did the top tech corporations screw up this week? This clearly needs its own section, in order of badness šŸ˜› TAGEND

Facebook news can’t be trusted: [Facebook contributes in report uptake among social feeds, but most don’t trust it]

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