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AT&T, Dish, WPP Team on Acquisition of Invidi

Adding another layer of consolidation to the ad-tech industry, AT&T, Dish Network and WPP said they struck a deal to acquire addressable/targeted ad specialist Invidi Technologies.

Financi terms were not announced, but Invidi will continue to operate independently under the collective ownership of the three companies, and AT&T, Dish and WPP will name reps to the Invidi board of directors. AT&T will hold a controlling interest in the venture.

Invidi will maintain its employees in their current locations, which include Princeton, N.J., Newtown, Pa., New York, Denver, Colo. and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Invidi, founded in 2000, makes addressable video advertising software and platforms that enable targeting based on demographic and psychographic attributes and can be further customized for advertisers.

Invidi, which has raised more than $132 million, according to CrunchBase, announced last year it had secured a patent for the national insertion of targeted advertising.

AT&T, Dish and WPP are teaming on the acquisition of Invidi after Comcast bulked up its advanced advertising portfolio through a string of purchases that included Visible World, a programmatic and targeted ad-tech company, This Technology, and Freewheel, which acquired earlier this year. 

AT&T, Dish and WPP said they’ll work together and with existing INVIDI clients to expand the ad-tech vendor’s addressable capabilities and product offerings to other video delivery platforms.

RELATED: Cox Media to Test Targeted Advertising

The deal is also coming together in the wake of the AT&T-DirecTV merger and the subsequent absorption of DirecTV’s ad business.  Dish Media Sales, meanwhile, introduced addressable advertising in 2012, and now serves targeted ads to more than 100 networks and north of 8 million homes via Dish Network and Sling TV.

“Invidi gives us a great opportunity to expand our addressable advertising capabilities,” Rick Welday, president of  AT&T AdWorks, said  in a statement. We have significantly increased revenue with targeted advertising across multiple platforms. This deal will help us accelerate growth in our addressable advertising business and explore innovation and expansion into new platforms.”

“We were the first strategic investor back in 2007 and are retaining our position so that we can influence the addressable ecosystem for the benefit of our clients,” added Irwin Gotlieb, chairman, GroupM Global, WPP’s wholly owned media investment management company.

Tim Hanlon, founder and CEO of The Vertere Group, tweeted that the deal is good news for the advanced ad tech ecosystem:

HUGE step towards standardizing TV ad addressability RT AT&T, DISH and WPP to Acquire INVIDI, Operate it Together

— Timhanlon (@Timhanlon) November 21, 2016