Google Inc. has agreed to acquire in-game advertising company Adscape Media Inc. for $23 million, according to technology site Red Herring, which cited sources familiar with the matter.

A Google spokesman declined comment, saying the company’s policy is not to respond to “rumor or speculation.”

Video game industry analysts said the acquisition, if successful, could give a boost to the nascent in-game advertising market.

Adscape competes with advertising start-ups Double Fusion and IGA Worldwide, which have already inked deals with major publishers.

It also has a rival in Microsoft Corp., which last year paid $200 million for in-game ad company Massive Inc. — lured by Massive’s agreements to place ads in online games from UbiSoft Entertainment SA, THQ Inc. and Take- Two Interactive Software Inc

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