Microsoft completes acquisition of aQuantive, creates advertiser and publisher solutions group

Microsoft Corp has completed its acquisition of aQuantive Inc, which will help the software giant deliver on its previously outlined goal to provide the advertising industry with a world-class advertising platform across devices and media that will create the best experiences for users, advertisers and publishers.

Microsoft has also created the advertiser and publisher solutions (APS) group. This new business group will be responsible for building Microsoft''s monetisation engine to serve the advertiser and publisher community.

The APS team will assume responsibility for building and marketing all ad platforms, including Atlas, DRIVEpm, MSNDR and Microsoft AdCenter, along with emerging media types such as in-game and mobile ads, and the agency arm Avenue A / Razorfish.

Brian McAndrews, CEO of aQuantive, who will report directly to Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft''s platforms and services division (PSD), will run the APS Group.

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

"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," Johnson added.