Microsoft to Acquire AQuantive

It looks like Microsoft wasn't really missing out on getting 24/7 Real Media after all. This morning, the company announced plans to acquire digital marketing agency aQuantive for $6 billion.

AQuantive is the parent to Atlas (ad-serving tools for advertisers and publishers, as well as Atlas Search bid management tools), DRIVEpm (behaviorally targeted ad network/media broker) and Avenue A | Razorfish (digital marketing agency, including search).

Microsoft is touting this as a commitment to become a "major player in online advertising."

The acquisition puts Microsoft in a similar position as Google with its DoubleClick acquisition. DoubleClick's Performics and DART Search; and aQuantive's Avenue A | Razorfish and Atlas Search create potential conflicts of interest. Google has said it is not planning on spinning off Performics, and on a conference call this morning, the company said it had no plans to spin off Avenue A | Razorfish.

You can find all the coverage on Techmeme.

About the author

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.