PARIS – If Criteo wanted to build itself a bridge to the post-cookie future, it could do worse than acquiring the company that built much of contemporary ad-tech.

That’s what the French company is aiming to do with its proposed $380 million of IPONWEB.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Criteo CEO Megan Clarken explains why she wants IPONWEB. The segment was tape with Clarken from Paris.

They’ve got the power

“IPONWEB supply so much of the in infrastructure that underpins the ad-tech ecosystem today,” Clarken says.

“They have the architecture in place. They have the DSPs, they have the SSPs, they have the exchange in-between.

“Those assets enable us to bring value to marketers and media owners in exchange for first-party data. Our future is about first-party data.”

IPONWEB was founded in the UK in 2001 by a husband-and-wife team focused on software development for IP and legal. It went on to enable Right Media Exchange (RMX), a pioneering ad exchange sold to Yahoo.

Now it also operates its MediaGrid infrastructure platform connecting buyers and sellers.

Value in the exchange

According to Criteo’s announcement:

“With this planned acquisition, Criteo accelerates its Commerce Media Platform vision and offers better control to its enterprise marketers – and their agency partners – by leveraging IPONWEB’s well-established DSP and SSP solutions.

“The acquisition also expands media owner monetization opportunities and provides critical services for first-party data management across the ecosystem.”

Clarken says: “Their exchange … is critically important for Criteo because Criteo’s vision is to build out our commerce media platform.”

“IPONWEB has access to about $1 billion worth of media spend and Criteo has access to about $2.5 billion of media spend today, so the two players together bring a lot of access for marketers.

“It’s about creating health and vibrancy around the open internet so that consumers can continue to the fruits of the open internet and not be confined to just the asset of the GAFA.”

The video future

And Criteo is also keen on using IPONWEB’s digital video chops.

The company began powering an real-time bidding programmatic TV platform for DISH Media Sales back in 2015, long before many others.

“We typically have been a retargeting shop, but this acquisition plus all of the things that we’re doing internally are moving us further and further up the funnel and focusing on audiences,” Clarken says.

“IPONWEB have fantastic assets around video, including CTV and online video. So to extend those targeting capabilities using first-party data out onto platforms is absolutely key for us.

“It’s a fundamental part of advertising – video is hot.”