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Opera buys a pair... of mobile ads networks

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Opera Software has snapped up two ad-serving networks to clean up on mobile devices.

The company yesterday that it had bought Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising to "significantly expand its offering" to advertisers, mobile publishers and to reach customers on all platforms. Opera is targeting iOS, Android, Blackberry, Java and Symbian. Financial terms were not released.

In 2010, Opera spent $8m on AdMarvel, a startup that claimed it could help mobile publishers and operators track advertising from any ad network.

By swallowing Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising, Opera said it hopes to "better monetize" - Valley speak for "make more money from" - the traffic flowing through the Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers.

Opera claims 160 million monthly active users. Opera Mobile runs on Android, BREW, Windows Mobile and Symbian/S60, while the Mini is available for Java ME, Android, Windows Mobile, iOS, BlackBerry and Symbian.

Mobile Theory is US-centric, with 60 millon mobile users on more than 300 mobile sites and apps. Opera claims it serves up to two billion impressions per month. 4th Screen Advertising covers Europe, with clients including The Guardian, MTV and Shazam. ®

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