Apple looks to get into mobile advertising space

For years the battle for supremacy in the online advertising market has raged with Google being the clear leader in the market. A new battlefield is now set for a war to determine who holds the majority of the mobile phone advertising market.

Right now, there are a number of small providers that each hold a relatively small amount of the mobile advertising market. Google fired the first salvo in the battle to gain supremacy when it agreed to purchase AdMob for $750 million. The FTC threw a wet blanket on the Google party though when it made a second request for more information on the planned purchase to ensure there would be competition if the deal went through.

BoomTown reports that sources have confirmed to it that Apple has offered to buy AdMob rival Quattro Wireless for $275 million. The official announcement of the deal could come as early as tomorrow. Neither Quattro nor Apple has offered any comments on the proposed purchase.

Boomtown reports that Quattro has raised about $30 million from two investors so far -- Highland Capital Partners and Globespan Capital Partners. Currently, Quattro's largest clients are Ford, Disney, and the NFL. You can bet other companies are greedily eyeing the purchase of mobile advertising firms to try to grab their piece of this potentially lucrative pie.

Updated 1/5/2010

Andy Miller has just confirmed the purchase of Quattro Wireless by Apple. Miller, who was the CEO of Quattro Wireless, is now a VP for Apple. Miller released a statement on Quattro Wireless' website detailing the move:

Happy New Year from Quattro Wireless!

We are thrilled to let you know that Apple has acquired Quattro. We want to share with you our excitement about this news and what it means for our customers.

We have built our business by enabling advertisers to reach the right consumers across the mobile web and in applications. We remain focused on delivering more engaging, relevant and useful ads to mobile devices, and improving the measurement and execution of digital campaigns. Together with Apple, we look forward to developing exciting new opportunities in the future that will benefit our customers.

For now, the offerings and services you receive from Quattro Wireless will not change. We will continue to operate the Quattro Wireless network across all devices and platforms. Your client and support teams will remain the same, and you can continue to expect the world-class service we are proud to deliver to our customers.

We look forward to working with you during this exciting time.

Andy Miller
Vice President, Mobile Advertising

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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