DoubleClick launches mobile ad platform

DoubleClick launched a capability that lets its customers display advertisements on mobile phones.

DoubleClick is expanding its advertising services for mobile phones, it announced Monday, as it continues waiting to find out if Google's attempt to buy it will pass muster with regulators.

DoubleClick's media company customers can now sell and manage advertisements online and on mobile phones. The new capability is integrated into DoubleClick's publishing service so that publishers can schedule mobile advertisements in the same way that they currently deliver other online ads, it said.

DoubleClick's technology delivers ads that will fit the screen size and capabilities of individual phones, the company said.

Most of the online advertising leaders, including Google, have increasingly focused on the potential of delivering advertisements to mobile phones. Last week Google launched AdSense for Mobile so that developers of mobile Web pages can include Google ads on their sites. Google also has AdWords for Mobile, which allows advertisers to place ads that mobile users see when they use Google search.

Google announced in April its intention to buy DoubleClick for US$3.1 billion. However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee are investigating the planned acquisition. Privacy groups and Google competitors including Microsoft and Yahoo have raised concerns about the effects of such a merger on competition and user privacy.

While that battle goes on, Google and its competitors continue to develop their mobile advertising capabilities. AOL earlier this year bought Third Screen Media, a company that operates a mobile advertising platform. Microsoft this year bought ScreenTonic, a company that delivers location-based ads to mobile phones. In addition, Yahoo launched its mobile advertising network in March.

The online giants face competition from traditional mobile companies, such as Nokia Corp., which recently acquired mobile advertising company Enpocket.

The interest in mobile advertising is fueled by expectations of significant growth. While spending on mobile search and display ads this year should reach around US$32.2 million, by 2012 it will hit US$1.4 billion, according to a recent report from the Kelsey Group.

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