TransUnion has agreed to plunk down $3.1 billion in cash to acquire identity resolution provider Neustar from private equity firm Golden Gate Capital.

TransUnion has agreed to plunk down $3.1 billion in money to accumulate identification decision supplier Neustar from personal fairness agency Golden Gate Capital.

Neustar was taken private and purchased by a bunch of buyers led by Golden Gate in late 2016 in a deal valued at $2.9 billion – which might make Neustar’s sale to TransUnion, introduced Monday, a cut price of kinds.

Then once more, the TransUnion acquisition excludes Neustar’s safety enterprise, which can turn out to be a Golden Gate and GIC portfolio firm. GIC is an funding administration firm that invested in Neustar on the time of the Golden Gate acquisition in 2016.

TransUnion’s acquisition of Neustar, anticipated to shut subsequent quarter, would be the credit score bureau’s largest acquisition thus far and marks its fourth acquisition previously two-and-a-half years.

TransUnion purchased marketing tech platform TruSignal in Might 2019, cross-channel marketing company Signal in August 2020 and OTT measurement and data management provider Tru Optik in October of final yr.

The theme that ties all of it collectively: identification, in fact. [Ad tech Twitter has a slightly more cynical take.]

TransUnion’s imaginative and prescient over the previous few years, and the rationale behind its acquisition spree, is to turn out to be a go-to supplier of identification options, stated Matt Spiegel, EVP of selling options and head of the media and leisure vertical at TransUnion.

“The world of identification has gotten extra advanced, however identification is a predominant ingredient to the client experiences that everybody desires,” Spiegel stated. “We’re constructing a set of options offering entrepreneurs, media corporations and all those who help them with the identification infrastructure and instruments to attach the dots on identification.”

Neustar is sort of a cherry on prime of that imaginative and prescient, but additionally a foundational piece that may permit TransUnion to additional broaden past its historic credit score resolution choices.

For instance, TransUnion will use Neustar’s OneID platform to extra rapidly and precisely join identification throughout its digital identification product suite, which incorporates the TruAudience family identification graph (previously Tru Optik), a tool danger identification and anti-fraud system and TransUnion’s individuals and enterprise search database.

OneID was constructed off the know-how Neustar acquired from caller ID infrastructure and information firm TARGUSinfo means again in 2011. It offered the premise for Neustar’s viewers and focusing on resolution and helped Neustar join identities throughout its merchandise.

“OneID will assist us innovate on prime of what we’ve already been doing with our TruAudience suite,” Spiegel stated.

Which is all properly and good. However any ambition within the identification and digital advertising and marketing house has to return together with a hyper-awareness of privateness issues and potential regulatory scrutiny.

Spiegel is adamant that no client credit score information is ever used to populate the TruAudience identification graph, and that the info is barely used for permitted functions, similar to fraud mitigation, for instance.

“Our work as a credit score reporting company is a separate and extremely regulated factor – it’s two completely different worlds,” he stated. “However with all the pieces we do, we take privateness and consent very severely.”

Along with OneID, TransUnion was additionally interested in Neustar’s measurement know-how. Neustar has made huge investments of its personal in measurement over time, together with its $450 million acquisition of selling analytics supplier MarketShare in 2015.

Extra just lately, Neustar has additionally been a vocal proponent on the World Huge Net Consortium of the necessity to resolve for privacy-safe measurement within the absence of third-party cookies. A lot of the dialogue thus far has been centered on focusing on alternate options.

“Entrepreneurs are clamoring to know if their funding is making a distinction, and Neustar has market-leading capabilities in that space,” Spiegel stated. “Collectively we will be prepared for the following wave of innovation that entrepreneurs are after.”

It’s unclear whether or not the Neustar title will stay or be subsumed into the TransUnion model. A choice about firm branding will come down the road.

Neustar’s present headcount stands at round 1,700 workers.