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OpenX Technologies has teamed up with France Telecom's Orange to launch Orange Ad Market, which could represent a threat to Google's DoubleClick ad unit.
Announced Tuesday, the partnership teams Los Angeles-based OpenX with the third largest European telecom operator. The firms said the business " to be called Orange Ad Market " will be focused initially on the European market, but Open X's location in the U.S. immediately raised the possibility the partnership could enter U.S. markets someday.
OpenX Ad Server already powers more than 150,000 websites, enabling them to control their ads and maximize ad revenue. OpenX is backed by U.S. investors including Accel Partners, Index Ventures and O'Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures.
The solution will launch in Europe where Google's DoubleClick service is not as dominant as it is in the U.S. "We think fusing OpenX's global marketplace with (Orange) in such a vital part of the world is going to truly unlock the full potential of the display advertising in Europe," said Tim Cadogan, chief executive officer of OpenX, in a statement.
Neither OpenX nor Orange made any mention of the U.S. market in their announcement.
The partnership will by operated by Orange and powered by OpenX. The Orange-OpenX partnership is an exclusive multi-year, multi-country deal and will begin in the current quarter in the UK and France with later launches to take place in additional European countries.
Orange's Ad Network currently has a 343 million unique user customer base, the companies said.
"The Western European online advertising market was worth an estimated $13 billion in 2008 and is expected to grow to $15 billion by 2011," said Luc Tran Thang, Orange Advertising's vice president, in a statement.
"We believe that Orange Ad Market is the first step in overcoming the challenge and our partnership with OpenX is the foundation," he added.
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