Microsoft Acquiring Advertising Company, aQuantive Inc. For $6 Billion

Posted May 18, 2007

The advertising industry is evolving and growing at an incredible pace, moving increasingly toward online and IP-served platforms, which dramatically increases the importance of software for this industry,” stated Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.

Microsoft has announced today that the company will be acquiring aQuantive, Inc. for $66.50 per share through an all-cash transaction. The transaction is worth $6 billion. This amount clearly eclipses the amount that Google spent for DoubleClick, Yahoo! made for RightMedia, and WPP Group made for 24/7 Real Media. Combined.

TodayĆ¢??s announcement represents the next step in the evolution of our ad network from our initial investment in MSN, to the broader Microsoft network including Xbox Live, Windows Live and Office Live, and now to the full capacity of the Internet. Microsoft is intensely committed to creating a thriving advertising business and to partnering closely with all key constituencies in this industry to help maximize the digital advertising opportunity for all,” continued Ballmer.

Publishers, ad agencies, and advertisers will benefit from this transaction because the combination of technologies will increase advertisement inventory. This transaction will also take Microsoft’s advertising platform to an upper level. Microsoft will be leveraging advertising of its assets such as Windows Live, MSN, XBox Live, Office Live, and also through partnerships with Facebook & Activision.

Through the acquisition, Microsoft will also gain control of Atlas, DRIVEpm, and Avenue A | Razorfish. aQuantive, founded in 1997 trades under NASDAQ: AQNT.
[Information Source: Official Microsoft press release]

Update: aQuantive Stock Upped 78% today. Congrats to their shareholders.