Vodafone and Telefonica invest in mobile ad company

Mobile telephony arch-competitors Vodafone and Telefonica have purchased minority stakes in a mobile advertising company called Amobee.

The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed yet.

The move highlights the growing unease which is spreading unto mobile phone companies that their content partners (Google, AOL, Microsoft or Yahoo) might be taking much needed advertising revenue from them.

Research Group Informa, said that the mobile advertising market would be worth around USD 11 bn by 2011, a five fold increase from current conditions.

Headquartered in San Fransicso but nurtured in Israel, Amobee presents itself as the first company to deliver a unified, telco-grade system for funding mobile content and communications through advertising revenues.

Its CEO, Zohar Levkovitz, believes that mobile operators should control their own destiny rather than be dictated on others (read Yahoo and the likes) terms and conditions.

Patrick Parodi, chief marketing officer of Amobee, believes that there are fortunes to be made by trying to monetise the UK and US SMS traffic, which alone, are apparently larger than all the traffic to Google Worldwide.