Microsoft Closes $6 Bln aQuantive Deal

Microsoft Closes $6 Bln aQuantive DealIt’s not just Google that’s spending a fortune on acquisitions these days. Microsoft has splurged awallet-busting $6 billion – it’s largest acquisition ever – to complete its acquisition of online advertising company aQuantive. The deal wasinitially announced in May, 2007.   Just to emphasize the deal’s importance, Microsoftturned around and created a new business unit, the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group (APS), to encompass aQuantive and its three companies: Avenue A | Razorfish, Atlas Solutions and DRIVEPerformance Solutions. It’s an indication of how seriously Microsoft takes online advertising, especially as competitors have already bought, or are purchasing, online ad companies.   Thatwas underlined by the fact that Microsoft paid a staggering 85 percent more per share than aQuantive’s last valuation. aQuantive is based in Seattle and was formed 10 years ago.   In astatement, Microsoft said this deal will help it reach its “previously outlined goal to provide the advertising industry with a world-class advertising platform across devices and media thatwill create the best experiences for users, advertisers and publishers.”   APS will be in charge of marketing all the aQuantive ad platforms, as well as “emerging media,” whichwill include mobile and in-game ads.   The amount Microsoft paid is three times more than it’s spent on any acquisition before, and over twice the amount Google splashed out on DoubleClick.

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