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Orange has snapped up on-line advertising company Unanimis for an undisclosed sum, putting an awful lot of eyeballs in front of France Telecom's content.

Neither company is saying how much Orange is paying for UK-based Unanimis, but the company turned over £21.7m last year so should be worth a bob or two. Unanimis is nicely placed to be acquired by Orange, having extensive businesses in both the UK and France (Orange being the brand operated by former-monopoly France Telecom) and enabling Orange to spread its business into Spain, Poland and elsewhere.

Unanimis has exclusive deals with sites including the AA, Ticketmaster and Match.com, and reckons it's already hitting 69 percent of the UK's on-line audience. Orange proudly claims that with the acquisition they'll be able to hit 71.5 per cent of UK surfers, which puts its existing ability to place adverts into perspective. Totalling up the UK, France, Spain and Poland, the combination of companies estimate they can hit about 66 per cent of those on-line.

Unanimis will operate as a division of the Orange Group Advertising Network, which has plans to "drive revenues from 9% to 20% in new growth areas, of which advertising is a key strand", according to the VP of Advertising, who also explains that "we are very excited by the prospects we see ahead, not only for the web advertising opportunities but also for the, thus untapped, mobile proposition.”

And he's right - our mobile phones are lamentably bereft of advertising at the moment, and we look forward to the new combination of Orange and Unanimis addressing that problem forthwith and without delay. ®

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