The buy cements VeriSign's ambitions to play in the mobile content and marketing arena.
VeriSign has agreed to acquire m-Qube, a leader in the fledgling U.S. mobile marketing sector, for $250 million in cash.
Besides providing the technology to enable mobile marketing programs, the privately-held m-Qube helps companies develop, deliver and charge for mobile content, including applications and messaging. Clients include Sony Pictures, CBS, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Warner Music Group, Reuters, GQ, Virgin Mobile Canada and Telus Mobility.
The acquisition fits into VeriSign's plans for the mobile space. It also owns mobile content player Jamster, and last month bought 3united Mobile Solutions, an Austrian company that offers applications for premium wireless content and mobile commerce.
VeriSign is combining its world-class expertise, applications and infrastructure to make content convergence over any network and any device a reality,” said Vernon Irvin, executive vice president and general manager of VeriSign Communications Services, in a statement. The company has also recently made moves in broadband, acquiring broadband content delivery firm Kontiki.
As for mobile marketing, Jim Manis, m-Qube's senior VP of industry development, told ClickZ, "It's an integral part of what we do. It's business as usual for us. We're excited about the opportunity, and that piece stays and stays strongly. It's all part of our task to enable the mobile channel for brands and content providers."
M-Qube and Manis himself have been active in the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), the industry trade group that's working to develop the medium. Manis is a past chairman of the organization's board and still acts as a director. Dan Mosher, director of mobile content services in VeriSign's Communication Services division, also sits on the MMA board.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.
Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
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