Adobe Buys Efficient Frontier to Expand in Web Marketing

Adobe Systems Inc. said it would buy online-advertising company Efficient Frontier to gain software that lets marketers place ads on Google Inc.’s and Facebook Inc.’s websites.

The deal would expand Adobe’s palette of tools for online advertisers and complement software it acquired with Omniture Inc. two years ago, Adobe said in a statement. Closely held Efficient Frontier, based in Sunnyvale, California, sells software that lets advertisers buy keywords on Google, place ads on Facebook, and purchase so-called display ads around the Web. Adobe, based in San Jose, California, didn’t disclose the price and said the transaction would be completed by February.

Adobe, the largest maker of graphic design software, has been adding tools for online marketing as its core market undergoes a shift. The company pared its sales forecast for the next fiscal year on Nov. 8 as it moves to develop new products and channels investments into digital media and marketing.

The company also said then it would stop developing mobile versions of its Flash Player software for online video and step up efforts to build the HTML5 programming language into its flagship Creative Suite products.

Adobe has been expanding beyond tools for print and Web design through acquisitions. The largest was Web traffic analysis company Omniture, acquired two years ago for $1.6 billion.

Adobe bought video advertising company Auditude Inc. on Nov. 1. Last January, Adobe bought Demdex Inc., whose software lets advertisers complement Omniture with data about online audiences. Adobe is scheduled to report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Dec. 15.

Adobe closed up 5.2 percent to $27.42 in New York. The shares are down 11 percent this year.

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