US telco AT&T is buying adtech company AppNexus. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but sources for the Wall Street Journal say the transaction is valued around $1.6 billion.

The privately-owned ad exchange will become part of AT&T’s advertising platform. The announcement comes weeks after the close of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner for almost $85 billion. Together, the two deals will give AT&T will a new set of publishing and ad tech assets.

Other telcos investing in ad tech include Verizon’s acquisition of AOL to form Oath and Singtel’s purchase of Turn.

AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley told Which-50 the company is excited about the new value this deal will bring to its advertiser and publisher clients in global markets like Australia.

“We remain 100 per cent committed to our customers in the Australian market and we’re confident this deal will create more value for them,” O’Kelley said.

The AppNexus platform will be integrated across the AT&T advertising and analytics division which is led by Brian Lesser, CEO.

“Ad tech unites real-time analytics and technology with our premium TV and video content,” said Lesser.

“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 and 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.”

In 2016 it was reported that AppNexus had planned to go public. Its investors include the likes of News Corp, WPP and Microsoft.

“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,” O’Kelley said.

“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.

The AppNexus deal will extend AT&T advertising and analytics’ footprint globally, expanding into Asia-Pacific, Australia, Europe, and Latin America. Earlier this year the Australian office of AppNexus reported that it signed agreements with more than 260 publishers, including News Corp, Nine Entertainment, eBay and The Guardian in Australia during 2016.

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