California-based online ad exchange AdECN is preparing to launch in the UK as part of geographical expansion plans.

The company is in talks with several of the UK’s main online ad sales houses and is expected to start operating during the early part of next year.

AdECN hopes networks will use its platform to sell ad space on UK websites, as well as offering advertisers a way to cut waste associated with bulk buying.

An informed source said the firm was in negotiations with five major UK ad networks, while five further sales houses are believed to be interested in joining.

Ad exchanges aim to replicate what Overture and Google have achieved for paid search advertising, offering advertisers a transparent environment to buy space, and cut down on the time they spend filling out orders.

They allow inventory to be bought and sold in real-time, replicating how a stock market is used to trade shares. The exchange also acts as a financial clearing house for collecting and distributing payments, while taking a cut of the fees.

Earlier this month, AdBrite, the start-up formed by FuckedCompany founder Philip Kaplan, said it was launching an auction system for display ads.

In September, AdECN announced a potentially lucrative deal with FUHU Ltd to market its concept in China


Also watch out for our 2007 Online Advertising Networks Buyer’s Guide, which we’ll be publishing within the next week.