Opera Acquiring AdMarvel - InformationWeek

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Opera Acquiring AdMarvel

The browser builder joins the ranks of tech companies, including Apple and Google, buying mobile ad firms.

Looking to boost its offerings for advertisers on mobile devices, Opera on Wednesday announced the acquisition of AdMarvel. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AdMarvel, based in San Mateo, Calif., and founded in 2006, helps publishers and operators track advertising distributed over a mobile network. Opera, based in Norway, claims nearly 50 million people worldwide use its namesake browser on mobile phones every month.

In purchasing AdMarvel, Opera is hoping to tap the "long-term revenue opportunity" of mobile advertising, as consumers increasingly embrace smartphones and other portable computing devices. "With AdMarvel, we think we can play an important role in the evolution of mobile advertising," Lars Boilesen, chief executive of Opera, said in a statement.

The number of tech companies buying mobile ad firms is growing in preparation for intense competition for ad dollars as the number of people using Internet-enabled mobile devices grows. Google announced plans in November to buy AdMob for $750 million, and Apple followed in January with the purchase of Quattro Wireless for $275 million.

The Opera-AdMarvel deal, which is believed to be a fraction of the Google and Apple transactions, stems from a commercial relationship the companies have had for a while. "Combining our monetization and analytics platform with the Opera browser and widget platform will create a new intelligent platform, where local and global advertisers can interact with a highly instrumented mobile audience," Mahi de Silva, chief executive of AdMarvel, said.

In November, Opera released a beta version of its Opera Mobile 10 browser for Microsoft's mobile platform. The mobile browser is built with the Opera Turbo technology, which can compress Web traffic by up to 80% while still offering support for Web technologies like Ajax and Flash.

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