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Microsoft buys mobile ad firm

Microsoft is to acquire ScreenTonic, the French mobile advertising specialist, in a move that signals a major acceleration of the Seattle giant’s mobile ambitions.

The move for Screentonic is another landmark deal in a frantic period that has seen a mad scramble for position in digital advertising. Observers have been expecting something big from Microsoft after Google bagged the online banner ad specialist Doubleclick.

Screentonic is a mobile equivalent of Doubleclick, working on behalf of major brands to serve banners on operator decks across Europe. It serves around 80 million a month with carriers such as Orange France, SFR, Proximus, Mobistar, Orange UK and others.

The Paris-based company will bolster a Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions proposition that also includes the recently purchased Massive Inc (which embeds advertising in video games) and MotionBridge (a specialist in mobile search).

Steve Berkowitz, senior VP of the online services group at Microsoft, said: “The acquisition of ScreenTonic will be part of our long-term strategy to deliver ad experiences that map to the environment. Together, we will be able to provide relevant ads where consumers are, when they are actively engaged and communicating.”

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