British ad giant WPP has announced the acquisition of internet ad company 24/7 Real Media for a whopping $649m (£329m).

The move is the latest in a flurry of mergers in the online ad market following the Google/DoubleClick deal.

According to WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell:

“24/7 Real Media significantly enhances our capabilities, technological resources and talent, as well as adding to our geographic coverage and our measurable skills.”

The deal will strengthen WPP’s position in online advertising, giving the group added technology and search marketing skills, as well as a presence in Asia.

Founded in 1995, 24/7 Real Media provides digital media sales, search marketing, and technology – its media arm is one of the largest CPM media networks, with more than 950 participating sites and 115m monthly unique users worldwide.

The firm has shown strong growth - its revenues for the year ending 31 December 2006 were $200m, up 43% on the previous year. 24/7 employs 400 people in 12 countries.