Apple to close Quattro ad network, focusing on iAd

Apple has announced today that it is to close its former ad network, Quattro Wireless, by the end of September, replacing it with iAd.

In an official statement on the Quattro website, it said: “We believe iAd is the best mobile ad network in the world, and starting next month we’re going to focus all of our resources on the iAd advertising platform. We are no longer accepting new campaigns for the Quattro Wireless Network, and we will soon begin winding down existing campaigns.  As of September 30, we will support ads exclusively for the iAd Network.”

Apple bought Quattro in January of this year for $275 million, which many believed was a reaction to Google buying AdMob for $750 million in November 2009.  Eight months on, or five months from the announcement of iAd, and Apple is closing Quattro down.

Apple did a similar thing with music streaming website Lala. It acquired Lala in December 2009, only to close it in April of this year, with many speculating that an website would follow in its wake.

This is a familiar strategy for big companies, buying out the competition and then closing them down. However, while Apple may have considered Quattro a threat at some stage, it is really Google alone that it needs to focus on, particularly considering the Google-purchased AdMob was a Quattro competitor. 

There was a small possibility that the FTC would interfere with Google’s plans to purchase AdMob, but it eventually gave the all clear, establishing the search giant as a leading player in the mobile advertising market. Considering 96 percent of Google’s profits come from advertising, it’s no surprise it wants to claim the mobile sector as well.

Google is clearly bothered about iAd, however. In June it came out swinging handbags left, right, and centre about how the Apple closed ad network would hurt competition and give developers less choice for which ad services to adopt, effectively making iAd the only fully-functioning ad network on iOS devices. 

It says a lot about Apple and how much it fears Google when its only method of competiting is to close the competition out.