AOL acquires Millennial Media to bolster mobile advertising effort

Millennial Media boasts a network of more than 65,000 apps and 1 billion global active users. Its platform helps monetize apps for publishers and developers by using data-driven ad targeting.

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AOL has acquired the digital ad-tech firm Millennial Media for $1.75 per share, or $238 million after accounting for cash and debt, the company announced Tuesday.

As one of the bevy of mobile ad sellers, Millennial Media boasts a network of more than 65,000 apps and 1 billion global active users. Its platform helps monetize apps for publishers and developers by using data-driven ad targeting. The company is headquartered in Baltimore but has satellite offices across the US and internationally.

AOL says it plans to use Millennial Media to bolster its One by AOL advertising platform and strengthen its capabilities in supply-side app monetization. In terms of ad targeting, Millennial's platform, combined with data from AOL and Verizon, could produce a powerful engine for pinpointing ad recipients.

Beyond just platform and technical gains, Millennial Media also gives AOL a much larger global footprint, particularly in key international markets including Singapore, Japan, UK, France and Germany.

"AOL is well positioned as consumers spend more and more time on mobile devices, and as advertisers, agencies and publishers become more reliant on programmatic monetization tools," said AOL president Bob Lord, in a statement. "As we continue to invest in our platforms and technology, the acquisition of Millennial Media accelerates our competitive mobile offering in ONE by AOL and enhances our current publisher offering with an 'all in' monetization platform for app developers."

Since it was itself acquired by Verizon earlier this year for $4.4 billion, mobile advertising has become the priority focus for AOL. The mobile operator made clear from the beginning that AOL would be central to its strategy for monetizing Verizon's wireless customers.

The deal is expected to close in the fall.