It has been confirmed that Taboola will acquire fellow content distribution company Outbrain in a deal set to create a new digital publisher powerhouse to compete with the likes of Facebook and Google.

The deal has yet to be fully approved but it is believed by a reported source that both firms have agreed to combine forces with Taboola agreeing to pay Outbrain shareholders $250 million, and will hold a 70% stake in the merged company, which will be headed by Taboola founder and CEO Adam Singolda.

Both founded in 2007, the two Israeli companies operate services that plug into partner publishers to drive traffic to “relevant” content.

Taboola commented that the deal will “provide enhanced advertising efficacy and reach to marketers worldwide” and help news organisations more effectively find growth in the coming years.

“Over the past decade, I’ve admired Outbrain and the innovation that Yaron Galai, Ori Lahav and the rest of the Outbrain team have brought to the marketplace. By joining forces, we’ll be able to create a more robust competitor to Facebook and Google, giving advertisers a more meaningful choice,” said Adam Singolda, founder and chief executive of Taboola.

“We’re passionate about driving growth for our customers and supporting the open web, which we consider critical in a world where walled gardens are strong, and perhaps too strong,” Singolda continued; “Working together, we will continue investing to better connect advertising dollars with local and national news organizations, strengthening journalism over the next decade. This is why we’re merging; this is our mission.”

Yaron Galai, co-founder and co-chief executive of Outbrain, said the firms have a “shared mission and vision of supporting quality journalism globally”.

“I’m confident that together, we will be able to further our mission, which we call our Lighthouse, of bringing the best, most trustworthy content discovery capabilities to users around the world,” Galai added.

Singolda will remain chief executive although the branding may be refreshed to indicate the new offering.

The board of directors will consist of current Taboola and Outbrain management and board members. Singolda will remain, chief executive of the merged company, while Galai will “actively assist” with the transition once the deal has been closed.