PlayPhone, a mobile content company based in San Jose, CA, plans to announce this morning that it is merging with London-based Pitch Entertainment Group to expand its coverage to more than 20 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa. The two companies didn’t disclose how the deal was being completed or if any money was exchanging hands, but PlayPhone said through the merger, it will be able to offer increased distribution for its content partners, which is a high-profile list, including Sony (NYSE: SNE) BMG, EMI Group, Cartoon Network, SEGA, Bandai, Disney (NYSE: DIS), Glu Mobile (NSDQ: GLUU), and others. PlayPhone said Pitch Entertainment is led by CEO Martin Bowley who will bring a lot of expertise on board through his other roles as chairman of the British Television Advertising Awards, chairman of the British Television Craft Awards and as the former CEO of Carlton Media, where he managed and lead the TV and cinema sales business. A year ago, PlayPhone raised almost $20 million from Scale Venture Partners, Cardinal Venture Partners and Menlo Ventures.
Rafat adds: Bowley spoke at our London roundtable on mobile content late last year, and seemed very well versed with issues surrounding the advertising and branded content market. When I asked him about the meaning of open networks and its effects on the mobile content market, here’s what he said: “It must mean that whatever a consumer wants on his or her phone, they should be able to get it. If they can