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Screen shot 2010-01-13 at 3.24.55 PMAmobee, a company that gives telecom carriers the tools they need to insert advertising into almost any kind of mobile content, announced today that it has acquired RingRing Media, the world’s largest mobile advertising agency. The deal makes Amobee a direct competitor to major mobile ad networks, including Google, which bought RingRing competitor AdMob late last year for $750 million.

It also brings the Redwood City-based company a step closer to its goal of becoming one of the biggest marketplaces for mobile advertising — providing a platform where publishers, brands and advertising agencies can connect to buy and sell inventory targeted at specific audiences. Already, Amobee counts Vodafone and Telefonica among its top-tier customers. Adding RingRing’s capabilities to its portfolio should help it lure even bigger fish.

When VentureBeat last reported on Amobee — in 2008 after it raised $22 million in funding — we noted how Amobee was at somewhat of a disadvantage because it didn’t have its own ad network. It only had the ability to insert ads into video, music, games and text messages on mobile phones. The purchase of RingRing gives it a serious edge.

By helping publishers and advertisers find each other more easily, and make agreements for premium inventory at the right price, both parties can focus more energy on targeting wider audiences and constructing stronger marketing campaigns.

The deal with RingRing also gives Amobee a new foothold in London, where the former is headquartered, reinforcing its presence on a global level. It will now be more active in Europe, Latin America and Asia — after the acquisition closes sometime during this first quarter of the year, that is. No financial terms have been released.

The agreement between Amobee and RingRing fits into a broader trend of consolidation in the mobile marketing business. Just last week, we looked into Jajah’s recent sale to Telefonica for $207 million in cash. Then there’s also the Google-AdMob deal and Apple’s purchase of mobile ad network Quattro Wireless for $275 million.

Amobee has raised more than $42 million to date from Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, Globespan Capital Partners, Cisco Systems, Motorola, Telefonica, Vodafone, and Amdocs.


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