Microsoft is absorbing a $6.2 billion charge to reflect its inability to produce more revenue from an online ad service that it bought nearly five years ago. The non-cash charge announced today could saddle Microsoft Corp. for its fiscal fourth quarter ending in June. Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted Microsoft would earn about $5.3 billion for the period.
The software maker, which is based in Redmond, Washington, blamed the setback primarily on the disappointing performance of aQuantive. That's an online advertising service that Microsoft bought in August 2007 for $6.3 billion in the most expensive acquisition in the company's 37-year history. The charge represents Microsoft's sobering acknowledgement that aQuantive didn't increase the company's online advertising revenue as much as management had anticipated. (Read more Microsoft stories.)