Mandalay Digital buys Appia for $100M to bring carriers back to the app market

Gigaom

Mandalay Digital Group announced Thursday that it is buying Appia, the largest independent mobile app marketer outside of Facebook, in a $100 million stock, options and debt deal. Mandalay Digital plans to combine Appia with its own mobile business, Digital Turbine, to create a marketing network that will bring mobile carriers back to the app distribution table.

If this all sounds a bit confusing, it helps to explain how apps are now distributed in the U.S. Consumers find them largely through app stores like iTunes and Google Play, but increasingly downloads are being driven by targeted advertising networks like Facebook’s. Ads on [company]Facebook[/company] point users to specific apps and, in the case of Android, can prompt a download with a single click.

Appia, formerly known as PocketGear, runs an app marketing network similar to Facebook’s except it works with independent developers to put its ads in their apps. According the…

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