Google has agreed to acquire international online-advertising outfit AdMeld for $400m, according to a report citing "multiple sources". An ad-related deal of this size will almost certainly bring more antitrust scrutiny onto the company.
AdMeld provides "ad optimization", offering technology that helps websites choose which ads to accept from which ad networks and other ad buyers. "AdMeld's mission is to keep premium publishers on the cutting edge of advertising technology, enabling them to maximize their revenue and sell their inventory smarter and safer," the company says on its website. "Our high-tech, high-touch approach generates the maximum yield for every ad impression by giving publishers access to demand from hundreds of sources (ad networks, DSPs, etc.) on their own terms."
Similar tools are offered by companies such as the Los Angeles–based Rubicon Project and the Palo Alto–based Pubmatic.
Presumably, Google will roll AdMeld's technology into its DoubleClick for Publishers server (formerly known as DART). DART, of course, is another Google acquisition. Google announced that it had agreed to purchase DoubleClick for $3.1bn in April 2007, but the deal wasn't finalized until March of the next year, thanks to heavy antitrust scrutiny from the US Federal Trade Commission and regulators in Europe.
Last year, Google also received heavy scrutiny over its proposed acquisition of mobile ad outfit AdMob, but this deal went through as well.
The AdMeld acquisition is significant because provides a piece of the display-ad puzzle that Google lacks. In addition to serving display ads through DoubleClick for publishers, Google offers a Double exchange that sells ads. Over the past several months, Google has also acquired Teracent, an outfit that customizes the makeup of display ads, and Invite Media, which helps ad buyers acquire inventory from ad exchanges. ®