Microsoft has just announced (Wall Street Select announcement) that they are acquiring aQuantive for $6 billion, double the price Google paid for DoubleClick earlier this month. This is the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s history, and will allow Microsoft to create the next generation of advertising platforms. When asked about how this merger will play into the the adCenter platform, Kevin Johnson, Microsoft Platform President, gave a rather noncommittal answer by saying only:
…as we pointed out, the online advertising opportunity is significant. This deal takes our advertising platform to a new level. We can offer a more complete end-to-end solution.
The deal, pending antitrust review in the United States and possibly other countries, is scheduled to close in sometime in the 2008 fiscal year.