Livedoor Acquires U.S. SEM Firm

Japanese Internet company Livedoor continued its push into the global search and contextual advertising space with the purchase of Innovation Interactive, parent to 360i and SearchIgnite.

Livedoor entered the space in February, when it acquired ValueClick Japan for $24 million. Livedoor is a Tokyo-based Internet and technology firm that operates a variety of businesses, including free ISP livedoor, an Internet advertising unit called “cyberclick” and an email marketing operation.

“Innovation’s domain knowledge, roster of large and small customers, and their technology across all spectrums of online media make them the most suitable partner for us to establish and expand our U.S. presence,” said Noriaki Okubo, executive VP of Livedoor.

Innovation Interactive has 125 employees in New York, Atlanta and San Francisco. Livedoor intends to retain all employees and management, including CEO Will Margiloff.

“Innovation Interactive shares Livedoor’s commitment to the Internet and performance marketing. We have been successful growing our business profitably to date, and joining Livedoor gives us an even greater opportunity to scale through organic growth, new product development and acquisitions,” Margiloff said.

Innovation’s clients include large SEM customers like Office Depot and Forbes, as well as thousands of small business customers using its self-service online marketing tools. Its SearchIgnite search management software helps sophisticated marketers and advertising agencies like Digitas manage their own SEM campaigns.

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