Apple buys consumer segmenting service for $1.2 billion

Reuters – Apple Inc (AAPL) on Wednesday paid $1 billion to acquire consumer segmented advertising company L2 Group for a $1,022 per share price premium, people familiar with the transaction said, adding to a flurry of activity around the tech titan in recent weeks.

The deal was announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement, and the stock rose nearly 5 percent to close at $1.,284.50.

L2 Group’s parent company, iAd, is the largest mobile ad network in the United States, with more than 4.7 billion daily ad impressions.

It’s a unit of iAd Digital, an ad agency founded by former Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

Apple has been exploring its options in consumer segment advertising in recent months, with CEO Tim Berners-Lee writing in an internal memo in March that Apple would explore selling its own products to ad agencies, but did not specify what those products would be.

The company also recently launched a new digital product called WatchKit, which allows for voice search and other features that weren’t previously available on its devices.

Apple also has been trying to attract more advertisers by offering a range of products that can be customized with their own ads.

In April, it unveiled a new product called HomeKit, that will allow home automation devices to control the lights, thermostats and refrigerators in the home.

Apple declined to comment.

Shares of L2 rose 3.7 percent to $1,,284.56 in after-hours trading, with Apple trailing the S&P 500 by $4.25.

L3 Group was acquired by Google Inc (GOOGL) in 2016 for $2.3 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The company had been run by former Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt and has since been a division of Alphabet, which owns Google.