Google is to buy mobile advertising firm AdMob for $750m (£449m), making the search giant the largest player in the mobile market. AdMob specialises in selling adverts displayed on small screens, a growing market given the popularity of smartphones such as the iPhone and the Blackberry. The deal will see Google use new mobile technology to drive mobile advertising, helping to decrease its reliance on desktop Internet ads, where growth is slowing.
Susan Wojcicki, Google’s vice-president of product management, said: “AdMob is the quintessential Silicon Valley start-up, generating impressive year-on-year revenue growth, and we’re excited to welcome this talented team to Google.”
“I think people underestimate how important ads have been to funding the development of innovative content on the internet,” said AdMob founder Omar Hamoui. “Our goal has been to make it possible for developers and publishers to bring their products and ideas to mobile with the same business model.”
AdMob’s sales should more than double this year, chief executive Hamoui said.
“We chose Google, and we chose that over an independent path, and we chose that over other options,’’ he added. “We’re very excited about getting to Google. We feel like we’re going to be like kids in a candy store.’’
The company was founded in 2006 in Hamoui’s dorm room at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
AdMob initially just sold Web links, before branching out into graphical ads about a year later.
With this acquisition, Google becomes the largest player in the mobile-advertising industry, with an estimated 30 to 40 percent market share.