Mobile Ad Rivalry Heats Up As Apple Buys Quattro

Game on. Apple Inc. (AAPL) is ready to pit itself directly against Google Inc. (GOOG) in the mobile display advertising wars with the reported $275 million purchase of Quattro Wireless.

Since Quattro is privately held, Apple is not divulging the financial details of the transaction. The purported amount comes from an affiliate of the Wall Street Journal.

The deal is significant because both Google and Apple have morphed into top players in the mobile devices market. Apple’s iPhone, of course, dominates the smartphone sector and Google is expected to unveil its long-awaited rival, the NexusOne device, as early as today. The Web giant already has released its Android operating system, which runs on phones including the Motorola Droid.

But adding advertising capabilities only beefs up their respective grips in the fight to monetize the mobile world.

Apple’s move comes several weeks after Google snapped up the company Apple was reported to be eyeing – AdMob. Now, in Quattro, Apple has found another takeover target. And it paid far less than the $750 million Google forked out for AdMob.

Quattro CEO Andy Miller will report to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, according to media reports, and Quattro’s 150 employees will keep their jobs.


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