Apple has acquired Quattro Wireless for a reported $275m, as the iPhone maker looks to challenge Google in the mobile advertising arena. Quattro announced the deal in a blog posting Tuesday by Andy Miller, now vice president of mobile advertising at Apple. “We are thrilled to let you know that Apple has acquired Quattro,” Miller wrote. “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,” Miller added. “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.”
Sources indicated Apple would pay $275m for Quattro. Quattro is a competitor to AdMob, which Google agreed to acquire in November for $750m.
Quattro’s advertising network spans mobile websites and smart phone applications.
The company serves ads in more than 100 countries and its network partners include the National Football League, CBS Interactive and Time Inc. The company’s clients include include Ford, Procter & Gamble and Visa.
Apple has more than $30 billion in cash and securities, but rarely makes acquisitions. It bought digital music service Lala in December for an undisclosed amount.
In its own blog post, Google interpreted the Quattro acquisition as an indication that the mobile ad market was truly competitive, implying that its own AdMob purchase did not warrant the FTC’s oversight.
“When we announced our planned acquisition of AdMob in November, we noted that the mobile advertising space is highly competitive — with more than a dozen mobile ad networks,” Paul Feng, a Google product manager, wrote. “In fact, the experts at MobiThinking recently called mobile advertising a ‘very fragmented’ space, in which ‘no ad network is dominant’ and ‘no one really knows what ad network is biggest.'”
“Today’s news that Apple is acquiring one of AdMob’s competitors, Quattro Wireless, is further proof that the mobile advertising space continues to be competitive,” Feng added. “And with more investments and acquisitions in the space, including from established players like Apple and Google, that’s a sign that vigorous growth and competition will continue. That’s ultimately great for users, advertisers and publishers alike.”
Quattro pledged that its services would remain the same.
“We will continue to operate the Quattro Wireless network across all devices and platforms,” Miller wrote. “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.”