France’s Orange Dumps Google’s DoubleClick for Startup OpenX

French telecoms carrier Orange has ditched Google’s online advertising-serving company DoubleClick in favor of independent OpenX, in a sign of the smaller company’s growing challenge to the major players.

4-year-old OpenX has been steadily making inroads into the online ad market that is dominated by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL, and now serves more than 350 billion ads per month. Photo: OpenX

Orange, one of the leading mobile carriers in France, has replaced Google’s DoubleClick Ad Platform for startup OpenX Enterprise Ad platform for its websites.

Orange said 4-year-old Los Angeles-based OpenX had the scale and maturity to compete with giants such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft or AOL, and was more suited to its cross-media advertising strategy spanning mobile and television.

OpenX, which is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, already has a separate partnership with Orange as an online advertising buying and selling platform in Europe. With this move, OpenX will now be serving ads across Orange network around the globe.

“We are switching all our countries from DoubleClick to OpenX,” said a senior France Telecom manager who declined to be named. Orange has more than 60 million unique users per month of its websites and portals in Europe and the Americas.

OpenX said it had also won Japanese Internet services company Excite as a customer for its newly revamped ad-serving platform, with which it hopes to attract larger publishers by simplifying the way they sell advertising space.

OpenX initially started as an open source ad serving platform in the later part of the previous decade. The initial open source project still exists as OpenX Source that can be downloaded and installed by any publisher to set up its own ad serving system.

However, with the growing popularity of the open source ad platform, OpenX ventured into offering hosted solutions. Current offerings include OpenX onRamp for small business and OpenX Enterprise for bigger clients.

OpenX also runs OpenX Market, an ad exchange where advertisers can bid for the ad inventory put on auction by publishers. The ads across OpenX onRamp and OpenX Enterprise are bought and sold via the OpenX Market.

One of the main advantages of OpenX is that it allows publishers a host of options such as direct ad sales, sales to ad networks, and an option to offer ad inventory on an ad exchange all at the same time.

Tim Cadogan, chief executive of OpenX and a former senior manager at Yahoo, said OpenX could now help publishers by bringing together data from separate sources of direct sales, spot markets and exchanges and sales to ad networks.

“Publishers today are basically trying to balance and optimize across multiple revenue streams,” he said. “We bring it into one coherent package.”

In addition to Orange and Excite, OpenX is now being used by,,, and 200,000 other websites in more than 100 countries. The company is serving more than 350 billion ads per month and reaches out to more than 400 million monthly uniques.

Google Inc. bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in 2008 after Microsoft bought aQuantive and before leading ad agency WPP bought 24/7 Real Media, as all the top players scrambled to strengthen their online ad services. [via Social Times and Reuters]

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