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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

February 27, 2007 at 1:45 PM

AOL looking at mobile advertising

Time Warner’s AOL is thinking about acquiring mobile advertising company Third Screen Media, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal today.

The story, which broke this morning, might seem old now since it is buried by news of the stock market tanking, but it’s worth taking another look at.

Boston-based Third Screen Media is one of a few emerging companies that are helping advertisers like Ford Motor and Bank of America get ads on to Web sites accessed by cellphones. The industry has as much promise or more as the Internet, given that more people have phones than PCs, but it’s still in really early stages.

The deal would likely be in the range of $80 million, people close to the matter say. But nothing is for sure because last year Microsoft’s MSN unit was supposedly close to buying Third Screen.

The interesting part is that, if the deal happens, according to the Journal story, Third Screen would likely become part of AOL’s Advertising.com unit, which helps broker ads on the Internet.

That makes a lot of sense, but what if it became part of Tegic Communications, AOL’s mobile unit based in Seattle?

The Seattle office here is under some new management and poised for growth and new development.

Tegic lifted the lid its plans after attending 3GSM World Congress, one of the largest wireless conventions in the world. Check out that story here.

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