In a $6-billion deal that Microsoft believes would strengthen
its internet business, the software giant has acquired
digital marketing firm Aquantive in its biggest ever
advises agencies and website publishers on putting adverts
online, connecting buyers and sellers. The media company,
which has over 2,600 employees, will continue to operate
from Seattle as part of Microsoft''s online operations.
all-cash takeover will allow Microsoft to expand into
the highly lucrative internet advertising market, also
being pursued by its archrival Google and Yahoo. The
$66.50 per share offer is 85 per cent higher than Aquantive''s
closing price of $35.87 on Thursday.
has justified paying the price, which represents 2 per
cent of its market value, by arguing the complementary
technology of Aquantive was worth the price and the
deal would help it broaden the scope of services its
MSN consumer internet unit can offer.
Kevin Johnson, head of Microsoft''s platforms and services
division, said, "This deal takes our advertising
business to a new level." Johnson also said that
Microsoft was committed to earning a bigger slice of
growing online advertising business, currently estimated
at around $55 billion.
however, suspect the price paid by the software giant
reflects its anxiety to make a significant acquisition
in the shrinking independent online advertising segment
in which its rivals are seen to be strengthening their
instance, last month search engine giant Google agreed
to buy DoubleClick for
$3.1 billion, while Yahoo grabbed the 80 per cent of
the equity of Right Media Exchange that it did not previously
own for $680 million.
deal is expected to be completed in the first half of
2008, subject to regulation.