Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Now Has AOL Inc Video Ads And User Tracking Powers

In a single sweep, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has grown from being the infra-based mobile carrier to a full-fledged ad-technology company. The value accruing by acquiring AOL Inc is beyond the $4.4 billion premium paid.

From a mere wireless network service provider, Verizon now has the technology to match leading ‘Big Data analytics’ companies. However, the supremacy in Big Data Analytics will be restricted to advertisement niche. It will more precisely be in video advertising for the mobile platform.

With AOL Inc’s platform, Verizon Communications Inc. will now be capable of measuring user engagement on multiple devices, platforms as well over digital video and traditional advertising.

This is a very powerful database to hold, for a company as large-sized as Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). It will give it a superior edge over other telecom players, allowing it to interact more closely with users on their mobiles than any other network currently does.

Eventually, it will allow Verizon to pursue it ambitious plans, such as mobile streaming services.

However, as the idea that the wireless carrier now has the reach for in-depth online advertising, sinks in, there are many consumer groups which are raising the bogey of ‘privacy.’

At Public Knowledge, a consumer-advocacy group, the senior Vice President claims that the acquisition raises ‘urgent privacy concerns.’

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), he alleges is already proficient at harnessing private information of its users to personalize online advertising. Now, with powerful analytics at its disposal, the line between privacy and consent to use information becomes very thin.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was previously embroiled in privacy violations for the use of its ‘supercookies.’ Apart from the privacy advocates, the mobile carrier is burdened with The Huffington Post, which came bundled with AOL Inc acquisition. Apparently, it is willing to snap ties with the publication and sell it.