The first thing I thought when I first heard the rumor that Research in Motion may be interested in buying web browser maker Opera, was that something has gone horribly wrong with the upcoming WebKit BlackBerry Browser. It turns out, however, the RIM may be interested in acquiring Opera because of an acquisition that Opera itself has recently made.
According to Business Insider, RIM may be looking to buy its way into the mobile advertising game and their interest in Opera is because of its recently acquired AdMarvel ad mediation business.
The gossip is that RIM wants to be an infrastructure player and take a cut from all ads that go through its system, NOT an ad sales/network/creative shop the way Apple is leading its iAds effort.
The more I think about this, the more it kind of makes sense for RIM. Data to and from BlackBerry devices already flows through Research in Motion’s proprietary, closed network. The speed enhancements and decreased data footprint that the new BlackBerry Browser will employ relies on on data being sent through RIM’s infrastructure before pages are rendered on the device. It doesn’t seem like a stretch for RIM to be able to effectively add ad serving technology to the mix.