Apple buying mobile ad company Quattro Wireless

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NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is buying the mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless. It’s a bet on the future of cell phone ads and steps up competition with rival Silicon Valley powerhouse Google.

Financial details have not been released.

Apple Inc. already has a strong edge in the high-end cell phone market with its iPhone. Quattro sells the ads that appear on the device and other smart phones.

That market is still relatively small, but some forecasters expect big growth as consumers switch to phones with Web browsing and other advanced features.

Among others looking to tap that market is Google Inc., which is seeking to expand its dominance in online ads with the $750 million acquisition of rival mobile ad network AdMob. Google is expected to announce its own phone on Tuesday.