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Microsoft to Acquire Advertising Platform aQuantive

About a month ago, I talked about Google Acquiring Doubleclick. Now, we have Microsoft acquiring aQuantive. Microsoft is planning on building an internet-wide advertising platform for advertisers, ad agencies, and publishers. acquire aQuantive, Inc., for $66.50 per share in an all-cash deal worth about $6 billion.

This acquisition by Microsoft enables them to strengthen relationships with advertisers, agencies and publishers. It will enhance their ad platforms and services far beyond their current capabilities. The acquisition also provides Microsoft increased depth in building and supporting next generation advertising solutions and environments such as cross media planning, video-on-demand and IPTV. Combining aQuantive’s technologies and services with Microsoft’s portfolio will provide value for the industry’s key constituencies as follows:

By combining Microsoft and aQuantive, advertisers and ad agencies will benefit from media planning, buying, and campaign management. Media owners and publishers will benefit from to best-in-class inventory optimization and monetization solutions across a full suite of rich media, video and targeting capabilities.

Avenue A | Razorfish will continue to serve its clients, and the Avenue A | Razorfish clients will benefit from having access to Microsoft’s next generation ad solutions and advertising services.

aQuantive, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is the parent company of three primary brands: Atlas, DRIVEpm, and Avenue A | Razorfish.

Atlas provides a set of advanced tools for both advertisers and publishers. The Atlas Media Console is an industry-leading toolset providing agencies and advertisers with capabilities to maximize ROI. The Atlas Publisher platform enables publishers to maximize monetization opportunities for their content.

DRIVEpm provides services to publishers and advertisers that math advertiser campaigns with publisher inventory enabling all parties to maximize ROI.

Avenue A | Razorfish is one of the largest interactive ad agencies in the world, providing advertisers with industry-leading digital marketing consultation, media planning and buying, and creative services that help advertisers use the online channel to build meaningful, profitable relationships with their customers.

The Microsoft-aQuantive deal is expected to be completed in the first half of Microsoft’s fiscal year 2008. This deal is not expected to have a significant impact on the financial guidance previously issued by Microsoft.

aQuantive, has about 2600 employees and will continue to operate from its Seattle headquarters as part of Microsoft’s Online Services Business.

After waiting a while, I went back through my list of bloggers/blog sites/sites and found a lot more sites talking about the Microsoft aQuantive deal. Turns out that there appears to be a consensus that the “industry” is starting to “consolidate” a bit, especially since we have Google acquiring Doubleclick, Microsoft acquiring aQuantive, and…what’s next? Will Yahoo! need to acquire another advertising network in order to “stay in the game?”

Here’s the additional links if you’re keeping score now with the number of people talking about this new Microsoft aQuantive deal:

*links to old articles removed*

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