Mobile commerce

Rumor: Apple to Buy Quattro Wireless

Tuesday, January 5, could be a major news day for the smartphone sector, according to the industry rumor mill.

All Things Digital believes Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is set to buy mobile advertising specialist Quattro Wireless in a deal valued at $275 million, and that the acquisition could be announced today.

Quattro Wireless, which raised $10 million in March 2009 to take its total funding to $28 million, serves, tracks, and analyzes targeted mobile advertising content for a number of corporate customers, including Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), and Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA). Find out more about the company here. (See Quattro Bags $12.3M.)

The move is significant for two reasons.

First, it mirrors the strategy of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), which acquired AdMob Inc. , a major rival to Quattro Wireless, for $750 million in November 2009. Google also snapped up ad content management specialist Teracent later the same month. (See Google Buys AdMob for $750M and Google Adds to Ads Smarts.)

And second, if the deal is announced Tuesday, it could deflect attention from the hotly anticipated launch of Google's Nexus One handset, which is set to shake up the smart mobile device market in which Apple has had so much success with its iPhone. (See Google Leads CES Device Cavalcade and Rumor: Google Unveiling Phone Next Week.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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