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AT&T to Acquire Online Ad Firm AppNexus in Reported $1.6 Billion Deal

AT&T announced its purchase of online ad exchange company AppNexus Monday, less than a month after the telecommunications conglomerate acquired Time Warner in a multi-billion-dollar deal. AppNexus will become part of AT&T’s advertising and analytics as it aims to globally expand its footprint in online advertising.

“Ad tech unites real-time analytics and technology with our premium TV and video content,” said AT&T CEO Brian Lesser in a statement. “So, we went out and found the strongest player in the space… 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.”

AT&T has over 170 million direct-to-consumer relationships over its various media businesses. AppNexus will expand these relationships to Asia-Pacific, Australia, Europe, and Latin America. It will also fortify AT&T’s ad-supported video content portfolio, including Turner Networks, Audience Network, and Otter Media.

“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 AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley in a statement. “Combining AT&T’s incredible assets with our technology, we will help brands and marketers power new advertising experiences for consumers.”

The specific value of the deal was not reported, but the Wall Street Journal reported last week that talks between AppNexus and AT&T floated prices around $1.6 billion. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2018. Until then, the companies will each operate independently.