Microsoft has restructured its digital advertising business to accommodate its recent buyouts of aQuantive and online ad exchange AdECN.

The software giant has created a new ‘Advertiser and Publisher Solutions’ unit to promote its online ad platforms to publishers and brands and carry the fight to arch-rivals Google and Yahoo!.

The group, which will be headed by aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews, will oversee the businesses Microsoft inherited through its purchase of the company – agency Avenue A/Razorfish, ad tech firm Atlas and behavioural targeting company DrivePM – as well as its adCenter search platform.

It will also include an ‘Emerging Media Group’ to handle the likes of in-game ad firm Massive and ScreenTonic, the French mobile advertising company Microsoft bought in May.

Microsoft said the $6bn deal for aQuantive had now been completed, following its approval by the company’s shareholders last week, and that both aQuantive and AdECN would continue to operate from their existing offices.

Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft’s Platforms & Services Division, said:

“Today we take a significant step forward in our ability to capture share of the $40bn online ad opportunity and the larger $600bn ad market, which is rapidly shifting to the world of online and IP-served platforms, including TV and gaming.

“The addition of aQuantive’s technologies and people to the Microsoft portfolio is a core, strategic investment and step forward in our plans to become one of the top two online advertising platforms in the industry.”