Google Buys Russian Contextual Ad Service For $140 Million

Google announced that it had acquired “Begun,” a Russian contextual ad service, for $140 million. The service had been a unit of Russia’s Rambler Media. Rambler also owns the Russian portal Rambler.ru. As part of the deal, Google-enhanced search results and ads will appear on the Rambler portal site.

According to Reuters, Rambler expects annual growth of online ad revenues to be 50 and to reach $1 billion by 2010.

The acquisition makes sense given that there’s more growth opportunity now in non-US markets. International revenues now make up just over 50 percent of total ad revenues. From Google’s Q2 earnings release:

Revenues from outside of the United States totaled $2.80 billion, representing 52% of total revenues in the second quarter of 2008, compared to 48% in the second quarter of 2007 and 51% in the first quarter of 2008. Had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the first quarter of 2008 through the second quarter of 2008, our revenues in the second quarter of 2008 would have been $88 million lower. Had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the second quarter of 2007 through the second quarter of 2008, our revenues in the second quarter of 2008 would have been $249 million lower.

Revenues from the United Kingdom totaled $774 million, representing 14% of revenue in the second quarter of 2008, compared to 15% in the second quarter of 2007 and 15% in the first quarter of 2008.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Acquisitions

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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