Apple confirmed yesterday that they have acquired the San Francisco-based software company Chomp Inc. Chomp’s feature product is their application search engine that sifts through hundreds of thousands of apps and narrows it down to just a few options for its users.

When questioned by Bloomberg, Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette would not disclose details about the purchase or Apple’s plans for the software, “we buy smaller technology companies from time to time and generally don’t comment on our purposes or plans.” Likewise, representatives from Chomp are yet to provide a statement on the acquisition.  According to Bloomberg, Apple is committing “about $50 million for Chomp,” a figure that reportedly came from a “person familiar with the matter,” however, neither company has confirmed this sale price. 

Suggesting what Apple’s intentions with Chomp are would be merely speculative. However, it is worth noting that in September of 2011 Chomp launched a private beta version of Chomp Search Ads. Chomp Search Ads is an advertising product that works within Chomp’s app search. CEO of Chomp Ben Keighran states that this software is “the first ad product that connects app advertisers to consumers searching for apps.” The program is similar to Google Search Ads, in that it allows developers to place bids on keywords, that when prompted, will connect users with the advertiser’s message.

Chomp’s mobile software works with both Apple and Google’s Android platforms, and the potential for advertisers to penetrate both markets could provide Apple with a clear advantage moving forward in application advertising.

Apple, the Cupertino California company, is considered to be the most valued company in the world by having accrued $97.6 billion in cash and investment assets. According to Bloomberg, Apple executives have stated that they will be exploring acquisition options in 2012.