Yahoo to Acquire Right Media

Yahoo is planning to acquire the remaining 80-percent interest in Right Media, according to a New York Times report. The deal, expected to close by the end of July, will cost Yahoo $680 million in stock and cash.

If Google completes its acquisition of DoubleClick, it will also have an ad exchange for buying and selling display ads on remnant inventory.

Back in October, Yahoo announced that it had acquired a 20-percent stake in the auction-based ad marketplace, and would take a seat on the Right Media Exchange to help monetize its non-premium inventory.

“The acquisition, to us, is a key step toward executing our long-term vision to build the leading advertising and publisher ecosystem both on and off the Yahoo network,” Yahoo CEO Terry Semel told the Times.

Incidentally, this acquisition will apparently bring former Did-It CEO Bill Wise to Yahoo, as he recently joined Right Media to head its Remix Media ad network.

Yahoo has also issued a statement regarding its plans.

UPDATE: While many people are spinning this as a defensive move sparked by Google’s planned acquisition of DoubleClick, Forrester analyst Charlene Li points out that this is more of an offensive strike:

“The acquisition makes it difficult for Google/Doubleclick to start its own ad exchange, which Doubleclick announced earlier this month. Right Media has been running its ad exchange for over two years, giving it the management and technical experience to run a successful exchange.”

“But more importantly, I believe the acquisition puts pressure on Google’s AdSense network to be more transparent.”

Also, by inserting itself as the broker for both buyers and sellers of ads, Yahoo can outflank Google, with DoubleClick only serving as the delivery mechanism for ads, she said.

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