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Amazon shops for mobile ad slinger to gobble – report

Customers who viewed AdMob also looked at Jumptap

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Amazon is apparently scoping out mobile ad companies with a view to boosting the ad revenue from its Kindle Fire as well as pushing adverts into its web properties.

The news comes from Ad Age, which has been talking to the ever-present "people familiar with the talks" and reports that although Amazon hasn't fixed on Jumptap, it is planning to make an acquisition in the mobile-advertising sphere. This would help Amazon to capitalise on traffic coming to its websites as well as bring in extra cash off the back of the popularity of the Kindle Fire tablet.

One might argue that Amazon is little more than an electronic catalogue anyway, and one within which retailers can rent pages (through Amazon Marketplace), but with so much mobile traffic going to Amazon for all sorts of reasons, the former bookseller obviously feels there's more money to be made from those browsing the shelves.

Not to mention the Kindle Fire, which features Amazon's Silk technology for proxied browsing. The Silk proxy would let Amazon drop adverts into websites, just as Opera can do and Phorm attempted, so acquiring an existing player might be a sensible way of building that business.

Not that Amazon is limited to in-browser advertising. Ad Age reports the company has been hawking the 'Fire's startup and shutdown screens to advertising agencies, not to mention the screen saver, with a starting price of $600,000. According to Ad Age the response has been muted, largely because Amazon has yet to decide if the new ads will be applied to existing Kindle owners (who might object), or just new customers (who won't know any better), but clearly there are advantages to owning the entire platform which Amazon is keen to realise.

All the big kids have mobile advertising acquisitions under their belts: Google splurged $750m for AdMob, while Apple paid $275m for Quattro Wireless, and even Opera Software joined the party in paying $8m for AdMarvel. Microsoft, meanwhile, remains close-lipped on how much it paid for ScreenTonic. At any rate, it's clear that acquisitions are the preferred way into the mobile ad market. ®

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