The long talked-of merger between Taboola and Outbrain is off, TechCrunch reported.

The merged entity was meant to be a competitor to Facebook and Google.

The coronavirus pandemic was a factor in the collapse, according to an anonymous source quoted by TechCrunch.

The merger had been in the works since at least 2015.

Outbrain calls itself a discovery and native advertising feed for the open web. Outbrain operates in 55 countries and is headquartered in New York City. Yaron Galai and Ori Lahav founded the company in 2006.

Taboola also calls itself a discovery and native advertising platform. The company is headquartered in New York City with offices in 18 cities worldwide. Adam Singolda founded the company in 2007.