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AT&T is acquiring AppNexus to help it sell even more ads

AT&T is acquiring AppNexus to help it sell even more ads



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Illustration of the AT&T logo on a dark blue background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

AT&T has announced today that it’s acquiring AppNexus, a digital advertising company that would help the telecom giant better build out its growing advertising business in hopes of competing with companies like Google, Facebook, and Verizon.

According to The Wall Street Journal, AT&T wants to appeal to advertisers with hyper specific targeted ads by levering the huge amount of data it already has on customers from its wireless offerings over the years for more successful campaigns.

AT&T’s recently approved merger with Time Warner will open up new areas where AT&T can advertise with TV channels that it now directly controls, like TNT, TBS, CNN, and other Time Warner-operated networks. It’s no coincidence that AT&T’s announcement of the AppNexus purchase calls out TV advertising as an area of focus. AT&T Advertising CEO Brian Lesser noting that “ad tech unites real-time analytics and technology with our premium TV and video content.”