Microsoft and Viacom joined forces to counter Google's growth in the ad market yesterday, with a 5-year, $500-million partnership. Microsoft gets audio and video content from Viacom, and is a preferred partner in online gaming. Viacom will switch its ad placement from DoubleClick, which Google is about to buy, to Microsoft's Internet ad company, aQuantive.
Hoping to slow Google’s growth out of its search engine niche into other online advertising forms, Microsoft first attempted to derail the DoubleClick deal, then last month paid $6 billion for aQuantive. Viacom has a $1 billion lawsuit pending against Google over YouTube copyright infringement on content from its properties, including MTV, Comedy Central, and Paramount.