Adobe pays $1.8 billion to get into online ads

Graphic design specialist Adobe Systems is to move into tracking web site performance and online advertising.

Adobe will pay $1.8 billion, or $21.50 a share, for online ad specialist Omniture, which analysts say is around 18 times the company’s predicted earnings for 2010.

The move is seen as an attempt to diversify from Adobe’s core design business, which is reliant on periodic updates to packages such as Creative Suite, and to provide steady income in-between upgrades.

Utah-based Omniture’s software could well appeal to Adobe’s advertising and website design customers to manage online ad campaigns, but Adobe says it is too early to say if it plans to integrate Omniture technology into its range of graphics products.

“It’s premature to comment on future product releases, but there’s opportunity to integrate,” said a spokesman.

Adobe says it expects to finalize the acquisition before the end of its fiscal fourth quarter in November.