In an apparent move to bolster its own ad sales efforts and provide services to large publishers, Google has reportedly made a $400 million purchase of Admeld, a company that builds technology to help ad sellers maximize the value of their inventory. Admeld has relationships with the Weather Channel, IDG TechNetwork, and large newspaper companies like The New York Times Company, Hearst, Tribune and Gannett.
The TechCrunch story reporting the acquisition cites “multiple sources.” Google representatives said the company doesn’t respond to “rumor or speculation.”
Admeld was founded in 2007 and has spent the last several years building and launching its technology both in the U.S. and in Europe. The company’s systems for publishers tie into various demand-side platforms and ad networks, giving publishers more control over how their inventory is sold. Admeld also provides publishers with data about their audiences, helping them to sell more effectively. Admeld is based in New York City and has offices in San Francisco, London, Berlin, and Toronto.
The acquisition ties in well to Google’s DoubleClick operations, serving as a publisher-focused companion to the advertiser-oriented DoubleClick Ad Exchange. The company has also developed tools for managing mobile inventory, which will presumably assist Google with AdMob. Though the acquisition of a company like this raises questions of how Google would work with competitors in the ad sales arena, the company has demonstrated an ability to navigate these waters with DoubleClick.
Admeld’s CEO, Michael Barrett, most recently worked at Fox Interactive Media, and also served sales stints at AOL Media Networks, GeoCities/Yahoo! and Disney Online. Co-founders Benjamin Barokas and Brian Adams worked together at JumpTV and at AOL.