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Facebook buys video ad company LiveRail

BY Dan Berthiaume

Menlo Park, Calif. – Facebook has agreed to acquire LiveRail, an advertising technology company that helps companies serve better ads in the videos that appear on their websites and apps. LiveRail, founded in 2007, also provides marketers with access to premium video inventory and data to help decide where to show their ads.

In a press release, Facebook said that LiveRail’s video supply-side platform (SSP) “ultimately offers is a complete advertising solution for video publishers,” and that it is excited for the future of video advertising.

Facebook has been active with digital display ads, including recent forays into a mobile ad network and ads targeted by user browsing history. But although Facebook has done some video advertising in its news feeds, purchasing LiveRail demonstrates a much wider interest in video ads moving forward. Rival Google has been heavily involved in video advertising. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Report: Amazon faces FTC suit over kids’ in-app purchases

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reportedly drafted a complaint against Amazon.com regarding what it says have been millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app purchases by children using Amazon devices. According to Reuters, the FTC wants to Amazon to make refunds of unauthorized child purchases of digital goods and services within existing apps downloaded by their parents, as well as compensate the FTC for court costs.

Amazon, which has been in negotiations with the FTC on the issue, changed its policies on how in-app purchases are processed in June 2014. The retailer has also said that its refund policy for in-app purchases is clear, but many consumers have complained that it is difficult and confusing. Apple settled a similar complaint with the FTC for $32.5 million in January 2014; Amazon says its policies already meet or exceed the policies Apple adopted as part of that settlement.

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SnapUp launches iPhone shopping list app

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – SnapUp is launching a free iPhone app that lets users take a screenshot of the item they’re shopping for and then have the product tracked on any retailer’s mobile app or website and compiled in one place. With access to the iPhone’s camera roll, SnapUp recognizes and transforms the screenshots taken, then adds those items to the user’s SnapUp account.

From there, consumers can use SnapUp to keep track of their items as well as create and share lists. SnapUp has also built a smart technology that alerts consumers when prices drop on their items.

In addition, swipe motions let users organize their snaps into customized dynamic lists so they can categorize and manage items. Users can then click a “Buy” button when the see an item available at a desired price.

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