January 5, 2010, 12:00 AM

Apple buys a mobile ad firm

Apple has agreed to pay a reported $275 million to acquire Quattro Wireless, a mobile ad network and platform that allows advertisers to target mobile users with ads. The move marks Apple`s first direct foray into the field of advertising.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

Apple Inc. has agreed to acquire Quattro Wireless, a mobile ad network and platform that allows advertisers to target mobile users with ads. The move marks Apple`s first direct foray into the field of advertising.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, a Wall Street Journal-affiliated blog reports that the transaction is valued at $275 million.

The move was confirmed with a message on Quattro’s web site today. “We are thrilled to let you know that Apple has acquired Quattro,” wrote Quattro co-founder and CEO Andy Miller. Miller’s new title is Apple vice president, mobile advertising.

“We have built our business by enabling advertisers to reach the right consumers across the mobile web and in applications,” wrote Miller in the note. “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.”

Quattro`s clients include Netflix Inc., TigerDirect Inc. and the Walt Disney Co. Its advertising network includes thousands of mobile web sites, along with applications on Apple`s iPhone and Google`s Android platforms, and other smartphones.

Apple’s plans for Quattro remain unknown. However, mobile advertisers can attract plenty of attention. On any given day, 57.8 million American consumers access the web via mobile devices, according to the Pew Research Center.

The move comes less than two months after Google Inc. agreed to acquire mobile display ad technology provider and ad marketplace AdMob for $750 million in stock.

Apple is No. 5 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide (a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name).

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