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Microsoft buys mobile advertising company ScreenTonic

By Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service
May 03, 2007 06:25 AM ET

IDG News Service - Microsoft said Thursday it will buy ScreenTonic, a company that specializes in delivering location-based ads to mobile devices.

ScreenTonic, based in Paris and founded in 2001, will become part of Microsoft's Digital Advertising Solutions group, created in September 2006 to sell advertising across its devices such as the Xbox gaming system and its Web sites.

ScreenTonic's platform, called Stamp, enables delivery of text or banner links on portals, ads in SMS messages and ads in mobile Web pages that vary depending on where the reader is located.

The platform includes a manager component, which can handle monitoring, billing and reporting, and a server that delivers ads according to certain criteria, according to ScreenTonic's Web site. It also has a sales component for developing and selling ad campaigns.

The acquisition of ScreenTonic is part of a long-term strategy to deliver relevant ads to consumers, Microsoft said. ScreenTonic said it has also worked with Apple, Nokia and Nike in addition to European telecommunications operators in Belgium, France and the U.K.

Last year, ScreenTonic announced it had gained €5.5 million (US$7.4 million) in new funding from investors 3i Group and I-Source Gestion, while also opening a subsidiary in London.

Microsoft and ScreenTonic officials were not immediately available for comment on Thursday morning. The companies did not disclose the terms of their deal.

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