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Apple pegged to buy Quattro Wireless for $275 million [u]

updated 09:25 am EST, Tue January 5, 2010

Gives Apple access to mobile advertising

(Updated with Quattro confirmation) Apple will soon announce an acquisition of Quattro Wireless, "several sources" are said to have confirmed. The purchase could be officially revealed later today, and be worth approximately $275 million. Quattro specializes in mobile advertising, and has a number of high-profile clients including Disney, Ford and the NFL.

The acquisition is almost certainly tied into plans for the iPhone, and should give Apple a greater portion of the revenue produced through apps and websites loaded on the device. Many nominally "free" iPhone apps are in fact ad-supported. Such money could in theory make Apple less dependent on carrier subsidies for income, valued at several hundred dollars per phone.

Acquiring Quattro would also put Apple into closer competition with Google, which recently agreed to pay $750 million for AdMob, another mobile advertiser. That deal is under FTC scrutiny however, as a result of worries about antitrust laws. Apple could potentially face deeper probing, as it exercises even tighter control over its platform by locking down both the iPhone OS and the App Store.

Update: Quattro CEO Andy Miller has confirmed the acquisition. The executive will leave his former title behind, becoming the VP of Mobile Advertising at Apple. For the time being, the Quattro network will continue to operate as usual, with the same client and support teams.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why would Apple, with such a small market

    share be under scrutiny about locking down their platform? Consumers would have so many other choices to go to.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Why

    Because it would mean there'd be less to write in the article (as it is only speculation that there would be any concern at all, and all of it from MacNN.

    However, if Apple were to start requiring free apps to use their ad service, or offer such a great deal as to drive others out of the market. Then you'd have a concern. But that's all speculation and jawing and such.

  1. jwdsail

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A guess.. - Not for free apps...

    Ads for free apps is thinking way too small I think...

    I'm going to go out on a limb and make a wild prognostication...

    Apple will tie this to an ad-subsidized wireless service for the tablet.

    People buying the tablet will be able to chose between the ad-supported wireless, or a paid wireless data connection.

    The ad-supported wireless will push ads to the tablet based on -

    1. Where you are (location services - if enabled)

    2. What you're reading (current page in safari, current page in the e-mag you're reading [playboy? Time? Newsweek?])

    3. Your recent purchases (from amazon, iTunes)

    4. What you've recently searched for (recent google searches in safari)

    I'm not crazy! The voices in my head told me so! ;-)

  1. trenchcoat77

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm with jwdsail

    That's pretty much what I thought when I read the headline: "This is for the tablet." One of the big restraints on buying the iPhone (and why I bought the iPod Touch) was the huge monthly charge from AT&T. The option of paying for wireless or free, ad-supported wireless probably doubles or triples the number of people interested in getting the tablet.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is nothing but edging into serious competition with google, which I feel apple can do well at as long as they don't neglect the core innovation streams that put them where they are now.

    - A

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