Microsoft makes its biggest acquisition ever

Summary:You heard it right. Microsoft is shelling out $6 billion in cash to buy a digital-advertising company. It's the biggest acquisition in Microsoft's corporate history.

Microsoft is shelling out about $6 billion in cash to buy digital marketing/advertising vendor aQuantive.

The aQuantive buy marks the biggest acquisition in Microsoft's corporate history. (So much for the idea that Microsoft isn't into big acquisitions. Guess a Google-DoubleClick deal, on the heels of a Google-YouTube deal, changed that dynamic.)

aQuantive -- the former Avenue A/Razorfish -- is based in Seattle (no remote management needed). Microsoft is planning to use its various tools and technologies -- as well as its relationships with publishers across all media, from IPTV, to games -- to supplement its existing set of digital-advertising wares.

Does this mean Microsoft is dropping its campaign to see the Google-DoubleClick deal killed because of antitrust concerns? No. Microsoft's official word on the matter is that a Microsoft-aQuantive deal is complementary because their products/services don't overlap. Google and DoubleClick have strongly overlapping ad-serving businesses, the Softies say.

There's no doubt: Microsoft wants to be an advertising company as much as a software company these days.

Topics: Microsoft, Google


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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