IBM Corp. will buy ad services company AdvertiserAds to keep it in the advertising business, it announced on Monday.
The $5.6 billion deal is the latest of a series of strategic acquisitions in a rapidly growing ad market dominated by Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.
Advertiser Ads is an ad-tech company that lets advertisers sell targeted ad campaigns to users based on their preferences.
It has a strong foothold in the digital advertising space, with about 2.2 million paid users and about 2 million paid subscribers.
The deal will help IBM stay in ad-marketing for another few years, said Andrew Smith, chief executive of AdvertisersAds, which will continue to operate under IBM’s banner.
“We’re going to be part of IBM’s advertising ecosystem for the foreseeable future,” Smith said in a statement.
IBM, which is known for its IBM Power Systems and its data center infrastructure, has a presence in a growing number of businesses that sell ad space on mobile, online, social, cloud, and mobile applications.
Advertising is a growing part of the company’s operations, with its $10 billion acquisition of AdMob earlier this year.
IBM bought Admob’s ad space business, which it said has about 3 million paid monthly users and an average daily revenue of $4.2 billion.
The company also bought the mobile advertising business of AdSense, a marketer that is owned by Facebook.
The acquisition is the largest ad buy by IBM in the last year, and the first by the technology giant.
The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and regulatory approvals have been delayed in several countries.
Ads has about 300 employees worldwide, and it employs about 4,000 people.