Opera Joins Mobile Advertising Wave With AdMarvel Buy

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Opera said the acquisition of AdMarvel will enable the company to "expand its portfolio of products and services to include highly scalable ad monetization services for Opera-branded mobile phone products and services offered by mobile operators and content partners."

AdMarvel develops a range of management and analysis applications that mobile ad publishers use to improve the performance of their advertisements. The tools can be used to direct ads to specific mobile devices, for example, and analyze traffic by geography, service carriers and devices.

Opera already uses AdMarvel software to test mobile advertising on Opera Mini, the mobile version of the Oslo, Norway-based company's browser. The company is likely to further the integration between Opera and AdMarvel to provide more services to mobile advertisers.

"In our fast-growing industry, mobile advertising represents an interesting long-term revenue opportunity. Every month, nearly 50 million people access the Web using Opera on their mobile phones and together with AdMarvel, we think we can play an important role in the evolution of mobile advertising," said Opera CEO Lars Boilesen in a statement.

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Opera didn't disclose the price it paid for privately held AdMarvel, San Mateo, Calif. But published reports put the acquisition price at $8 million, plus an additional $15 million if certain financial targets are met during the next two years.

Earlier this month Apple acquired mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless, based in Waltham, Mass., reportedly for close to $300 million. That came two months after Google acquired AdMob, another mobile advertising display company, for $750 million.

AdMob and Quattro Wireless both serve up advertisements for smartphones such as Apple's iPhone and devices that use Google's Android operating system. Google recently debuted its own mobile phone, the Nexus One, which also runs on the Android system.