Kara Swisher

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Exclusive: Apple to Buy Quattro Wireless for $275 Million

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Apple is set to announce that it has acquired Quattro Wireless for $275 million, several sources confirmed.

The announcement of the acquisition might come as soon as tomorrow, upping the ante in the mobile advertising business significantly.

Google (GOOG) recently forked over an astonishing $750 million for Silicon Valley’s AdMob, a Quattro competitor, which Apple (AAPL) had also made a bid to acquire.

Both innovative start-ups are aimed squarely at the fast-growing market to advertise on smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices.

In fact, the search giant will unveil the Nexus One tomorrow, a mobile phone powered by its Android operating system software, which Google designed and will sell on a Web site instead of via telecom companies.

Waltham, Mass.-based Quattro has raised close to $30 million from two main venture investors–Highland Capital Partners and Globespan Capital Partners. Founded several years ago, its clients include Ford (F), Disney (DIS) and the National Football League.

Competitors in the space are many still, despite these big acquisitions, and include Millennial Media and Jumptap, both of which are now clearly in play to other players, from telecoms to other device makers to big Internet companies.

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment to BoomTown about the deal and email inquiries to Quattro have not yet been returned.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work