Microsoft Buys Ad Firm for $6B

Deal shores up Microsoft's flailing online advertising presence
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted May 18, 2007 11:15 AM CDT
Stock prices for Microsoft and aQuantive are shown at the Nasdaq marketsite on Friday, May 18, 2007 in New York. Microsoft Corp. said Friday it will buy online advertising firm aQuantive Inc. for about...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Microsoft will plunk down $6 billion for aQuantive, a leading digital marketing agency. The $66.50 per share offer—nearly double aQuantive's closing price yesterday—comes on the heels of WPP's 24/7 Real Media purchase. It's Microsoft's biggest acquisition ever, reflecting its growing desperation to regain its status as a major player in the online advertising sphere.

Microsoft has been foiled in a series of recent deals for online ad firms, including DoubleClick. With aQuantive, Microsoft hopes to rev up its own position in the sector. "The need to lock in on on-line advertising assets is at fever pitch," one analyst said in the Wall Street Journal, which values the growing market at $20 billion.