Google buys AdMob for $750 million

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Google has agreed to acquire AdMob, a mobile display ad network, in an all-stock deal valued at $750 million. .

Susan Wojcicki, VP for product management, and Vic Gundotra, VP of engineering, said on Google's company blog on November 9 that “this acquisition will enhance Google's existing expertise and technology in mobile advertising, while also giving advertisers and publishers more choice.” The deal is expected to close in the next several months, according to Matt Furman, a Google spokesperson.

Google currently offers mobile search advertising to marketers. With the acquisition, it gains AdMob's expertise with mobile display ads and in-application ads.

There are more than a dozen mobile ad networks. AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo have all made mobile advertising-related acquisitions in the past two years.

Industry watchers said the deal ads clout to the mobile advertising channel.

“We believe that if there remained any doubters of the value of mobile marketing that the sale of AdMob to Google at this valuation puts those concerns to rest,” said Mike Wehrs, president and CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association.

Bob Walczak, CEO of Ringleader Digital, a mobile advertising technology firm, said the deal will only increase both marketer focus on and investment in the mobile arena, as well as accelerate growth and interest in mobile marketing.

“[Google] just made the third-largest investment they've ever made,” he said. Only Google's DoubleClick and YouTube acquisitions were larger.

Walczak added that the deal “will force other online companies to take mobile more seriously.”

“If Google is making this kind of investment, they believe a lot of media dollars are behind it, so you have to assume agencies and brands are getting ready to make significant investment in this space in 2010,” he said, adding that the deal indicates “the market will get a lot more attention from an M&A perspective.”

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