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Google swallows AdMob for $750m

In-app mobile ads, anyone?

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Google is backing a dump truck of acquisition money on AdMob, a company that specializes on serving display ads on the iPhone and other mobile devices.

AdMob will receive a cool $750 million to become a part of the Mountain View Chocolate Factory's massive online advertising empire.

Google says while its focus to date has been mobile search ads, AdMob caters to in-application ads. But there is some overlap, as Google began pushing in-app advertising back in June with one of its infamously long extended beta programs. But why beat 'em when you can eat 'em?

"I'm excited because I believe this will be an important moment for everyone producing, consuming, or monetizing engaging products on mobile," wrote AdMob founder and head honcho, Omar Hamoui in a website post today. "The truth is that the mobile industry has had no shortage of creative energy, amazing products, and talented entrepreneurs. But until now, it has always felt like those of us involved in this space played second fiddle to our online brethren. I believe that time is over."

Founded in 2006, the San Mateo, California-based AdMob boasts a roster of customers that includes Adidas, Comedy Central, Coca-Cola, MTV, and Toshiba.

Google says the hookup will bring better, more relevant ads and greater reach to the AdMob system. It will also mean "more interesting, engaging ad formats" on mobiles, Google said in a blog post welcoming the deal. The search firm said both companies have already approved the transaction.

It's likely we'll be seeing Google open its wallet more often in the coming months. Back during its October Q3 earnings call, the company said it's willing to spend "heavily" again while tossing away tight controls on expenses now that it believes the darkest days of the global economic meltdown are over. ®

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