America Online Inc, the world’s largest distributor of disposable CDs and apparently also an interactive services company, has announced that it has signed an agreement to hand over US$435 million (€359 million) in cash for Advertising.com, the internet’s third largest advertising network.
Advertising.com plans and optimises online campaigns for more than 800 advertisers, and also works with some 1500 online publishers to bring them 110 million unique visitors every month. About 70% of all US internet users encounter Advertising.com’s work in the course of a month’s surfing.
This is AOL’s biggest deal since it merged with Time Warner, and shows that there may be some life in online advertising after the bubble burst after all. AOL, having ditched its broadband product and now staring at declining dial-up business, is understandably keen to drive growth in other areas, and believes that content and services are what it’s best at.
Jonathan Miller, Chairman and CEO, America Online, Inc., said, “Online advertising is showing very strong growth across the industry, and the acquisition of Advertising.com underscores AOL’s determination to strengthen its competitive position. Advertising.com has built a profitable, scalable and highly attractive business. This acquisition is a strategic move that will bolster AOL’s advertising business, building on the strides made in the past year.”