On Friday, Microsoft Corp. declared it would purchase aQuantive, Inc. for a sum of $66.50 per share. A sum of $6 Billion will be paid to aQuantive Inc in an all-cash transaction. Microsoft Corp though interested in 24/7 Real Media – which was purchased by WPP – saw more in aQuantive.
To this regard, Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corp said, "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. Today's announcement represents the next step in the evolution of our ad network from our initial investment in MSNĂ‚Â®, 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."
The purchase of digital advertising companies has boomed. Beginning with Google's purchase of DoubleClick – which Microsoft lost in the bidding war, Yahoo! acquiring Right Media , WPP with 24/7 Real Media and now Microsoft with aQuantive.
The sum is Microsoft Corp's highest ever acquisition. Aquantive's shares closed at $35.87 on thursday.