TechNation: Facebook May Enforce Tougher Rules in Israel on Election Ads

Google, Facebook captured all growth in Israeli ad spending last year ■ Israeli-Japanese partnership targets Industry 4.0 applications ■ Mega-exits become Israeli tech industry norm

Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018.
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Facebook may enforce tougher rules in Israel on election ads

Facebook told Reuters that it may extend some of its political advertising rules and tools for curbing election interference in Israel, which is among a handful of countries voting this year. The company said new rules were being employed in India, Nigeria, Ukraine and the European Union, and that it was weighing possible policy changes in Australia, Indonesia, Israel and the Philippines. “We’re learning from every country,” said Rob Leathern, a director of product management. “We know we’re not going to be perfect, but our goal is continuing, ongoing improvement.” The news comes amid growing concerns about possible hacking and other online interference as Israelis go to the polls April 9. In Nigeria and Ukraine, only advertisers located in the country will be able to run electoral ads. In India, which votes for parliament this spring, Facebook will place electoral ads in a searchable online library starting next month. (Reuters)

Google, Facebook captured all growth in Israeli ad spending last year

Israel ad spending grew in real terms last year for the first time in a decade, but the growth all occurred at Google, Facebook and other global online channels. Ifat, which tracks the advertising business, said ad spending in Israel grew 4% last year to 4.1 billion shekels ($1.1 billion at current exchange rates), but  an analysis by TheMarker shows that spending on local Israeli media was unchanged. Radio and billboard spending grew, but print advertising was down 12% from 2017 and television spending was unchanged. Digital advertising spending rose 12%, surprising TV for the first time ever, but for the major Israeli digital outlets Ynet and Mako spending was down 25% and for others as much as 70%. Google and Facebook, it appears captured all the 160 million shekel increase in online advertising. TheMarker estimates that Google alone took in 600 million shekels in ad revenues from Israel in 2018. (Nati Tucker)

Israeli-Japanese partnership targets Industry 4.0 applications

Musashi Seimitsu Corporation and Israeli serial entrepreneur Ran Poliakine are partnering to develop artificial intelligence for the digitalization and automation of assembly processes, known as Industry 4.0. The collaboration, announced on Tuesday during an Israel-Japan economic summit in Jerusalem, will combine the resources of Musashi, a maker of power train parts, with the Jerusalem-based Innovation Center. Led by Poliakine - whose startups include Powermat Technologies, the wireless-charging pioneer - the center brings together technology experts in the areas such as artificial intelligence, software and hardware engineering, mathematics and physics. “Our relationship will convene established industrial players with new AI innovators to optimize the opportunities Industry 4.0 will deliver on a global scale,” said Poliakine. The partnership will develop an automated guided vehicle for industrial use. With $2.3 billion revenue and 16,000 employees in 12 countries, Musashi is partly owned by Japan’s Honda Motor Company. (TheMarker Staff)

Mega-exits become Israeli tech industry norm

Mega-exits, where Israeli companies sell themselves in excess of $1 billion, are becoming routine, IVC Research Center said in a survey released on Tuesday. In the last few years there has been at least one mega-exit per year, but in 2018 there were four, IVC said, adding it would now raise the bar to transactions above $5 billion. Israeli tech companies racked up exits worth $12.3 billion last year, almost a 50% increase over 2017, not counting the mega-mega exit of Mobileye’s sale to Intel for $15.23 billion. Excluding large deals, exit value in 2018 totaled $4.5 billion, its lowest since 2014. The four big exits of 2018 were: Orbotech, acquired by KLA-Tencor for $3.4 billion (a deal that has not yet been), Imperva’s acquisition by Thoma Bravo for $2.1 billion; Mazor Robotics acquisition by Medtronic for $1.6 billion (also not completed) and Permira’s $1 billion acquisition of SynaMedia (formerly NDS). (TheMarker Staff)