Apple snaps up mobile advertising firm

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Apple has agreed to acquire mobile advertising firm Quattro wireless.

The deal will give Apple control of Quattro and its mobile advertising network, which allows vendors and network operators to distribute embedded ads in smartphone applications and media players.

In announcing the deal on the company's blog, former Quattro chief executive and new Apple vice president of mobile marketing Andy Miller said that for now the company would retain all of its products and services.

"We remain focused on delivering more engaging, relevant and useful ads to mobile devices, and improving the measurement and execution of digital campaigns," Miller wrote.

"Together with Apple, we look forward to developing exciting new opportunities in the future that will benefit our customers."

The deal, which is reportedly worth some US$275 million (A$301 million), will give Apple a foothold in the advertising market and a possible counter to Google recent purchase of rival mobile ad vendor AdMob.

The November Admob deal cost Google some US$750 million (A$821 million), but gave the company another avenue for its massive advertising operation.

"The mobile advertising space is likely to grow very quickly and Apple could not afford to miss out on this opportunity especially as other have encroached on their core business," said Gartner's research director Tole Hart.

"There are also still a few other ad networks such as Millennial Media and Jumptap that are likely to be acquired as the larger players like Microsoft and Yahoo continue to pursue the mobile advertising market."

Apple's acquisition also comes after Google announced a bid to unseat the iPhone. The company sent waves throughout the technology space Tuesday with the unveiling of its much-anticipated Nexus 1.

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