No one can say that Yahoo!
The move will help improve Yahoo!'s sluggish growth in its bread-and-butter Web advertising business. According to comScore Media Matrix, BlueLithium is the second-largest ad network in the United Kingdom -- and the fifth-largest domestically -- with 145 million unique monthly visitors.
Sure, the deal is small by recent standards. Google
BlueLithium will naturally give Yahoo! a prolific nudge in the United Kingdom, where it's second only to Time Warner's
However, it's not all analytical, behavioral-targeting work and no play at BlueLithium. Last year, it helped launch MingleNow.com, billed as the first "offline to online social network." MingleNow is a venue-driven platform, connecting people to actual bars, clubs, and restaurants.
For a company like Yahoo! that is getting high marks for its Web 2.0 initiatives like Flickr, del.icio.us, and Yahoo! Answers, BlueLithium's role as an incubator can't be ignored.
It may be another nickel-and-dime deal at a time when Yahoo!'s rivals are spending billions, but it's ultimately better for Yahoo! to acquire BlueLithium than to let someone else have it.
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