Microsoft has bought online advertising firm aQuantive for about $6bn (£3bn), giving it ownership of ad technology provider Atlas; interactive agency AvenueA/Razorfish; and Drive PM, which provides targeting tools for internet advertisers and publishers.

The announcement of the deal follows a wave of consolidation seen in the online ad market recently -Google's DoubleClick deal, AOL's acquisition of AdTech and WPP's purchase of 24/7 Real Media.

The purchase of Atlas is an especially significant move - it competes against DoubleClick's technology platform, allowing advertisers to place ads more efficiently and publishers to better manage their inventory.

According to Microsoft:

"This deal expands upon the company's previously outlined vision to provide the advertising industry with a world class, Internet-wide advertising platform, as well as a set of tools and services that help its constituents generate the highest possible return on their advertising investments."

Graham Charlton

Published 18 May, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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