BlackBerry maker RIM, which feels (rightfully) threatened by Apple and Google, now thinks it needs to be in the mobile advertising business.In June, we reported industry gossip that RIM was considering buying its way into mobile advertising, and now the WSJ has more details.
Specifically, RIM has had deal talks with mobile ad outfit Millennial Media, but doesn’t want to pay the $400 million to $500 million price tag that Millennial thinks it’s worth.
(RIM, which hasn’t big a big deal company, seems to be scared of pulling the trigger. We had reported that RIM was in the lead to buy Palm, and “had to work incredibly hard to blow it.”)
But if mobile ads can help mobile app developers make more money, and if Google and Apple own the two best mobile ad products, it makes sense that RIM would think it needs its own.
In June, we wrote, “The gossip is that RIM wants to be an infrastructure player and take a cut from all ads that go through its system, NOT an ad sales/network/creative shop the way Apple is leading its iAds effort. Who might RIM buy? One odd name: Maybe even web browser maker Opera, to get at their AdMarvel ad mediation business.”
Millennial is obviously much bigger than just an infrastructure player, so if RIM were to buy it, that would suggest bigger ambitions.
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