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Mobile ad network on RIM shopping list

by Sarah Griffiths on 19 August 2010, 16:25

Tags: RIM (TSE:RIM)

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Talking rumours

BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) is rumoured to be on the hunt for a mobile advertising network to buy, in order to keep pace with its competitors.

According to an anonymous source, RIM has held potential acquisition talks with mobile ad network Millennial Media, The Wall Street Journal reported.

However, the talks have reportedly ground to a halt over the value of Millennial Media, which offers ads on a network of its own mobile websites plus brokers ad sales for other networks too.

The company is believed to be after a sum between $400m and $500m, after its rivals AdMob and Quattro Wireless were acquired by Google and Apple respectively for hefty sums of money.

However, analysts warn RIM must move quickly to stand a chance of competing in the wireless ad industry, with both Google and Apple jostling for control. RIM is already lagging behind growth expectations and has just released a new operating system BlackBerry 6, for its handsets in a bid to compete with increasingly popular Android and Apple smartphones.

While none of the companies involved in the talks commented on the rumours, Paul Palmieri, chief exec at Millennial Media previously told the newspaper the company wanted to make a public offering of shares rather than be acquired. "We are on the path of being an independent company," he reportedly said.

RIM's head honchos are said to be reluctant to fork out top dollar for Millennial Media, having publicly commented that Google and Apple had paid too much for their respective acquisitions. Google paid $750m for AdMob in November last year, while Apple snapped up Quattro Wireless for an undisclosed sum in January.

However, Apple has shown its entry into the mobile advertising market has not been plain sailing as its iAd business has experienced a slow start with rumours of delayed campaigns and reluctant partners.



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