Livedoor Buys Innovation Interactive

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Livedoor Co. Ltd., a large Japanese ISP, acquired Innovation Interactive, a performance marketing firm that owns search marketer 360i and search software company SearchIgnite.


Livedoor, which also runs a blog search service in Japan, bought New York-based Innovation yesterday for an undisclosed amount.


Livedoor's financial assistance -- it has $1 billion in cash assets -- will help Innovation expand to Asia, Central and South America and Europe in the coming months.


"In the next several quarters, we will start branching out internationally," said Will Margiloff, CEO of Innovation Interactive.


The funding also will help Innovation make more acquisitions of its own, Margiloff said.


"The capital that Livedoor has behind them allows us to go out and think about acquisitions in a whole different light, in terms of the scale and size of the acquisitions," he said.


Meanwhile, Livedoor has the chance to grow internationally.


"Innovation's ... roster of large and small customers and their technology across all spectrums of online media make them the most suitable partner for us to expand our U.S. presence," said Noriaki Okubo, executive vice president of Livedoor, Tokyo.


The deal is just the latest in a handful of mergers and acquisitions in the search marketing space this year, a trend that Margiloff predicts will continue.


"That's what is probably coming to light for a lot of search engine marketers," he said. "If they can't get the scale, they will have to sell themselves [in order to expand]."


Innovation has 125 employees at offices in New York, San Francisco and Atlanta. Margiloff said the firm's employee and executive team will not change with the acquisition.


Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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