The biggest newspaper publisher in the US, Gannett Company, has inked a deal to buy an online marketing firm.

The takeover of PointRoll is reported to be worth around $100 million (€82m; £55m), though details have not been released. The Pennsylvania-headquartered business produces interactive ads that expand when the user's mouse cursor passes over them. The ads are considered less intrusive than pop-ups.

Virginia-headquartered Gannett publishes 102 daily newspapers including the top-selling USA Today. It owns 21 TV stations and controls dozens of internet sites sponsored by its television and press interests. It is also the second largest newspaper company in the UK.

Says Chris Saridakis, newly elevated ceo of PointRoll: "Gannett understands the demands, dynamics and changing technologies of internet advertising."

Adds Craig Moon, president and publisher of USA Today: "We believe their clever, popular approach to interactive advertising and their continuous innovation will be a nice fit."

Gannett's purchase is the latest instance of a large US newspaper publisher diversifying its business. Last week, EW Scripps Company, which operates 21 daily newspapers and among other media interests, agreed to buy comparison shopping site Shopzilla for $0.5 billion.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff