Microsoft announced earlier today that it had acquired six-year-old European mobile ad platform company ScreenTonic. Last February, Microsoft acquired European mobile search provider MotionBridge. This past March Microsoft bought Tellme. Thus, the company is putting together an impressive suite of mobile assets for both consumers and carriers.
Microsoft said it intends to deploy the ScreenTonic technology globally. And while Google and Yahoo are largely perceived as threats to carriers (justified to some degree by recent consumer research from iCrossing), Microsoft is seeking to position itself as a partner, directly and indirectly through these acquired companies.
From the release:
[Steve] Berkowitz said it is important for Microsoft to deliver ad experiences that are mutually beneficial to publishers, mobile operators and consumers alike. ScreenTonic has relationships with some of the largest mobile operators in Belgium, France and the U.K.
In the U.S. Microsoft has a strategic relationship with struggling mobile carrier Sprint.