Yahoo to buy BlueLithium for $300M

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Internet giant Yahoo Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire BlueLithium, an online global ad network that offers direct response products and capabilities for advertisers and publishers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Yahoo will acquire BlueLithium for approximately $300 million in cash.

"This is an important acquisition for us because it is a key component of Yahoo's efforts to lead the transformation of how advertisers and publishers connect to and engage with their customers û both on and off the Yahoo Network," said Todd Teresi, SVP of the Yahoo Publisher Network. "This deal is the logical next step towards Yahoo's goal of creating the largest and most effective online ad network globally.

The addition of BlueLithium extends Yahoo's reach as an online ad network and joins the Yahoo Publisher Network and the Right Media Exchange. According to comScore Media Metrix, BlueLithium is the fifth largest ad network in the United States and second largest in the UK with 145 million unique visitors each month.

The combination of BlueLithium's assets and relationships with Yahoo's overall ad network will give advertisers access to powerful data analytics, advanced targeting and innovative direct-response buying strategies across a broad range of high quality inventory.

"BlueLithium will enable Yahoo to accelerate its advertiser, product and engineering roadmaps. We've been focused on a variety of advertiser related initiatives, but BlueLithium will help us to immediately address current advertising solution gaps in performance marketing and provide marketing tools to better manage the Yahoo ad network," Tersei told DM News. "Additionally, BlueLithium will provide Yahoo with scalable re-targeting and behavioral products that will be leveraged both on and off-network inventory to give advertisers the best opportunity to maximize performance."

BlueLithium's product capabilities include: audience targeting based on consumer interests; remarketing ads to consumers across the Web who have interacted with an ad or Web page; custom segmentation; spot buying capabilities to extend reach and frequency against a marketer's target audience.

Publishers will have greater access to advertising budgets through Yahoo's sales force and through the Right Media Exchange, where BlueLithium will be an active participant.

Additionally, BlueLithium provides media buying expertise that is complementary to the Yahoo Publisher Network, enabling Yahoo to further extend its reach and frequency.

BlueLithium will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo. CEO Gurbaksh Chahal will remain with BlueLithium for an interim period through the integration. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2007.

"This deal further extends our lead in the display advertising space, where Google is up and coming but a nascent competitor to Yahoo's global footprint," Teresi concluded.

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