It has been reported that the anticipated merger of digital publishers Taboola and Outbrain has fallen through — a planned $850 million merger that would have valued the combined company at more than $2 billion.
The end of the merger talks were first reported by Israeli publications but was soon confirmed via TechCrunch this week, with both companies having agreed to call off the merger due to changing conditions in the market as a result of COVID-19.
“We’ve seen changing conditions in the market due to COVID-19, and we decided to terminate the deal,” said a person close to the merger to TechCrunch; “It’s been such a long road, and it’s not great…but walking away is the right move.”
Both founded in 2007, the two Israeli companies operate services that plug into partner publishers to drive traffic to “relevant” content.
The companies announced the merger in October 2019, stating that together they would reach 2 billion people a month and give advertisers more “meaningful choice” outside of the “walled gardens” of Facebook and Google, which dominate the digital advertising ecosystem. The talks ended after the companies failed to agree on revised deal terms.
A formal announcement from Taboola and Outbrain is expected to come in due course.