Big Advertising Merger vs. Google Growth

Morning Business Memo…

Advertising giants Omnicom and Publicis have announced what they call "merger of equals." If approved by federal regulators, the deal will create the world's largest advertising firm, worth more than $30 billion. The move is a response to growing competition from Silicon Valley as Google and Facebook gobble up an ever larger share of the advertising buy. The merger may sharpen the companies' focus on growing Asian and Latin American markets such as China and Brazil. The New York Times says the proposed merger "signals that advertising is now firmly in the business of Big Data: collecting and selling the personal information of millions of consumers." The merged company had more than $22 billion in sales last year, which was less than half of Google's $50 in revenue - most of it from online advertising.

Amazon plans to hire thousands of workers to make good on its plans for faster delivery times and improved customer service. The world's largest online retailer is looking to fill 7,000 jobs in 13 states. The company says it will add 5,000 full-time jobs at its US distribution centers. Amazon has been spending heavily to grow its business but the moves have been costly. The company had a loss of $7 million this quarter. President Obama is set to visit an Amazon site tomorrow in Chattanooga, where he is expected to talk about proposals to boost the creation of middle-class jobs. Amazon says its warehouse jobs are full-time positions with benefits including health care and retirement savings plans. "We're focused on sustained innovation across Amazon and want to help our employees succeed - whether at Amazon or elsewhere," Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service told The Washington Post.

The luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue is being purchased by the parent of Lord & Taylor for $2.4 billion, the companies announced this morning. Hudson's Bay, which also runs some Canadian department stores, will pay $16 per share for Saks.

A busy week is ahead for Wall Street and the economy. Among the highlights are the July jobs report to be released on Friday, results of the Federal Reserve's meeting on Wednesday, and new reports on home prices and pending home sales. It's halftime in the second-quarter earnings season. A mixed batch of results gave investors little direction on Friday and stock futures are down this morning. Crude oil prices fell to $104 a barrel for West Texas crude.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio Twitter: daviesabc

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