AT&T Buys Ad-Tech Firm AppNexus In First Post-Merger Move

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Just a week and a half after closing its acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T has announced another purchase, this one of advertising technology specialist AppNexus.

The company will become a part of AT&T advertising & analytics, led by the group’s CEO, Brian Lesser. AppNexus operates a leading global advertising marketplace and provides digital ad products for publishers, agencies and marketers. AT&T sees the deal as furthering its ambitions to deliver addressable advertising and other tech innovation to help marketers reach individual viewers and consumers. The company has 170 million direct connections with customers across wireless, video and broadband and has just added Turner Networks to its Audience Network and Otter Media holdings.

Terms were not disclosed, but last week deal talks had been reported in the neighborhood of $1.6 billion to $2 billion.

AT&T’s announcement said the deal means it is “investing to accelerate the growth of its advertising platform and strengthen its leadership in advanced TV advertising.”

AppNexus employs more than 400 software engineers and product managers with expertise in machine learning and predictive analytics, advertising technology and video.

“Ad tech unites real-time analytics and technology with our premium TV and video content,” Lesser said in the announcement. “So, we went out and found the strongest player in the space. AppNexus has scale of infrastructure, advanced technology and diverse talent. The combination of AT&T advertising & analytics and AppNexus will help deliver a world-class advertising platform that provides brands and publishers a new and innovative way to reach consumers in the marketplace today.”

AppNexus also extends AT&T advertising and analytics’ footprint in the international marketplace, with operations in Asia-Pacific, Australia, Europe, and Latin America.

“Innovation is core to the heritage of both AT&T and AppNexus, and we have an exciting opportunity to chart the future course of advertising together,” said Brian O’Kelley, CEO, AppNexus. “Combining AT&T’s incredible assets with our technology, we will help brands and marketers power new advertising experiences for consumers. It’s what the market is asking for, and together we’re poised to deliver it.”

The transaction, which is expected to close during the third quarter of 2018, is subject to customary closing conditions. Until the transaction closes, each company will continue to operate independently.

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