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AOL Buys Mobile Ad Network

Monitoring 200 RSS feeds, you’d think we would have caught earlier news that AOL has acquired Third Screen Media, a mobile advertising network – let’s just say it was one of those “did we cover this already” moments.

Anyway, lots of others picked up on the story and Mashable has the best summary of the deal…

Third Screen Media will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL’s Advertising.com division. The acquisition of course lends to better positioning of AOL for the mobile market, and allows them to offer this ad distribution channel to their advertisers as well. Third Screen Media acts as a broker for advertisers, publishers and mobile phone carriers, connecting them on a common platform to enable ad-management and delivery via WAP, downloadable applications, SMS, MMS, and mobile video, putting forth a wide array of options for all parties involved.

Odeo Acquired by SonicMountain

Back in February we reported that Evan Williams had decided to sell-off podcast service Odeo, in light of the success of Twitter.

TechCrunch is now reporting that the deal is done, and Sonic Mountain has acquired the brand and technology for a sum north of $1 million.

More Rumors of eBay Purchasing Stumbleupon

Tech CEO’s are a tricky bunch. Whenever asked about deals or new products, their speech is littered with words such as “no plans” or “not currently.” That’s usually enough to send journalists packing or get bloggers talking (especially this one).

So when in April eBay CEO Meg Whitman dismissed the rumors they were acquiring Stumbleupon with the statement that eBay “had nothing on the docket right now,” that pretty much killed rumors.

Well, today those same rumors surface thanks to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

EBay Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire StumbleUpon Inc…according to people familiar with the matter…the potential price for a deal is in the range of $75 million, these people say. One of the people said that no final agreement has been reached and the talks could fall apart. An eBay spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on “rumors or speculation.”

MySpace Acquiring Photobucket

UPDATE: TechCrunch lists the purchase price at closer to $250M, and confirms the deal with “more senior people.” They say “that there is also an earn-out for up to an additional $50 million.”
UPDATE 2: Andy says…It appears that MySpace already had access to just about every Photobucket user, and they already had the technology. Did they make the acquisition simply to block competitors from getting their hands on it?

Valleywag reports today that MySpace is acquiring Photobucket (okay, more accurately, it’s News Corp., but whatever). After seeing their names linked in the news lately, perhaps they thought now would be a good time to capitalize on their shared ink.

Photobucket’s blog says nothing on the topic, although today they tout a new partnership with Snap Shots and last week they announced winning the OnHollywood Top Private Company award as well as Hitwise #1 winner in Entertainment/Photography.

Microsoft Buying Yahoo?

UPDATE 2: Microsoft has made a $44.6B bid for Yahoo, details here.

UPDATE: WSJ is reporting the talks are not ongoing.

Microsoft and Yahoo in recent months discussed a possible merger of the two companies or some kind of match-up that would pair their respective strengths, say people familiar with the situation. But the merger discussions are no longer active, these people say. The two companies may still explore other ways of cooperating.

Microsoft Wants to Join Ad Agency Acquisition Party

Having missed out on the chance to buy DoubleClick, and then watched Yahoo pick up the Right Media, Microsoft is feeling a little left out of the party.

Reuters is reporting that Microsoft may still join the online advertising acquisition meme, with the acquisition of 24/7 Real Media. Of course, any acquisition will raise questions that MSFT might become a competitor of search marketers, as 24/7 does offer both PPC management and optimization services.

At this rate, maybe my old employer, Think Partnership (THK) will even get acquired. I may be biased (I still own stock) but it’s a bargain at less than $5 a share! ;-)

Yahoo Fully Acquires Right Media

After investing in online advertising company Right Media, in October (and getting 20% of the company in the process), Yahoo has now shelled out $680 million to secure the remaining 80%.

In a move that many suspected and most see as an answer to Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick, Yahoo’s acquisition of Right Media will strongly boost the companies online display advertising options.

“The acquisition of Right Media will further Yahoo!’s goal to create the industry’s most open, accessible and vibrant advertising marketplace, which will help democratize the buying and selling of digitally enabled advertising,” said Terry Semel, chairman and CEO of Yahoo!, in a statement. “This acquisition is an important step in our long-term vision to build the industry’s leading advertising and publisher ecosystem. We believe that Yahoo!’s open approach is a clear differentiator from others in the industry and provides significant benefits to advertisers, publishers and Yahoo! itself.”