Since Apple bought Quattro Wireless last year, it has continued to offer that company’s services placing banner advertisements on smartphones even as it ramped up work on iAds, the fancier iPhone-only marketing with interaction and video.
No more. The former Quattro CEO who is now an Apple VP, Andy Miller, told customers this week that Quattro will stop taking new orders at the end of September and devote all its attention to iAds.
Question: If a powerful new rival barged into your core market, why would you admit publicly that it is offering something “new and different”?
Answer: Because the intended audience for your comment is in Washington DC.
Apple’s announcement of its iAd mobile advertising network (see also the blog post below) could, paradoxically, have come at just the right moment for Google and AdMob. With anti-trust regulators laying the groundwork for a potential challenge to their merger, it really helps to have a nasty new competitor on the scene.
Here’s another sign that winning approval for Google’s purchase of mobile advertising company AdMob isn’t turning out to be plain sailing in Washington: Senator Herb Kohl, chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust sub-committee, has just written to the Federal Trade Commission urging it to take a long, hard look at the deal.
It’s worth noting Kohl’s close ties to Jon Leibowitz, the FTC chairman. Leibowitz was a long-time staffer for Kohl, having served as his chief counsel for 12 years up to 2000. And while Kohl doesn’t come right out and say the AdMob deal should be blocked, he doesn’t stop far short.
Consolidation in the mobile advertising market continues at breakneck pace. After Google’s proposed $750m acquisition of AdMob and Apple’s $275m bid for Quattro, Amobee is now buying RingRing Media of the UK for an unspecified – but probably much smaller – amount.
California-based Amobee said the deal would result in a combined company bigger than Quattro in terms of revenues and number of ads served each month. Analysts at IDC estimate Quattro has around $21m in mobile ad revenues, giving it around 7 per cent of the market. Both would still be dwarfed by the combined Google/Admob, which would have nearly a quarter of the market with revenues of $68m.