Microsoft has set out plans to launch an internet-wide advertising platform for clients, publishers and advertising agencies after snapping up digital marketing services group, aQuantive, for £6bn.
The deal also sees the technology giant take ownership of Avenue A|Razorfish, the largest interactive advertising agency in the US. It works with clients such as Mercedes, Kraft and Visa.
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer says: “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.”
He adds that the deal represents “the next step in the evolution of our ad network”.
aQuantive, which was founded in 1997, also owns the Atlas, which offers tools for both advertisers and publishers to help maximise return on investment, and DRIVEpm, which matches advertising campaigns with publisher inventory.