Microsoft buys ad-firm Aquantive for $6 bn

Seattle, May 18 (DPA) Microsoft has acquired digital marketing firm Aquantive for $6 billion in a bid to prevent Google’s total domination of the online advertising market, the company said Friday.

The Seattle-based agency is Microsoft’s largest-ever purchase and came at a high cost to the software giant – a 66.50 dollar per share offer that is 85 percent higher than Aquantive’s closing price on Thursday.

Support TwoCircles

“This deal takes our advertising business to a new level,” said Kevin Johnson, head of Microsoft’s platforms and services division. “We are committed to earn a bigger slice of the 40-billion-dollar pie that’s growing.”

The purchase consolidates Microsoft’s position in display ads that use sound and video, an area where the company still ranks ahead of Google, which dominates the market for ads linked to search terms.

The deal came just weeks after Google announced its purchase of online ad giant DoubleClick for 3.1 billion dollars, while Yahoo snapped up the 80 percent of Right Media Exchange it did not already own for $680 million.

“Because this space is so profitable and so important, we’re seeing Microsoft make these type of investments,” analyst Michael Gartenberg told Bloomberg News.