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VeriFone Enters Retail-Display Ad Market With LIFT Deal

VeriFone Systems Inc., the largest maker of credit-card terminals, said today it acquired LIFT Retail Marketing Technology Inc. to enter the in-store display advertising market.

LIFT’s digital displays, which sit next to cash registers at gas stations and convenience stores, assess items consumers have in their shopping basket and suggest additional products they might want to buy. The system can increase an average store’s sales by 5 percent, Jennifer Miles, a VeriFone executive vice president, said in an interview.

The acquisition pits San Jose, California-based VeriFone against companies serving display ads at stores, airports, elevators and movie theaters, including National CineMedia Inc., RMG Networks Inc., Technicolor SA’s Premier Retail Networks Inc. and Gannett Co.’s Captivate Network. The market for the so-called digital out-of-home media increased 16 percent to $6.47 billion in 2010 and was projected to grow 17 percent last year, researcher PQ Media said.

“We are extending a strategy to expand beyond the payment-related services VeriFone is known for,” Miles said. The company, which already provides display advertising in taxis as well as coupons and offers at gas stations, expects to announce agreements for in-store displays with several retail chains “in the very near future,” she said.

VeriFone could make additional acquisitions to expand its presence in the retail-display advertising market, Miles said. It’s in discussions with more than one company, she said.

Last year, VeriFone Chief Executive Officer Douglas Bergeron said the company could spend as much as $1 billion a year on acquisitions in emerging markets and data services.

The purchase price for Atlanta-based LIFT wasn’t disclosed, according to a statement.

VeriFone was little changed at $47.90 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 35 percent this year.

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