As part of its unfolding response to Google’s growth in advertising, Microsoft is acquiring advertising company aQuantitive for $6 billion in cash. What’s that about Google acquiring DoubleClick for too much money? Now this is a big acquisiton. Lopsided it seems. and so un-Microsofty.
There’s pleny of analysis going on over at TechMeme
There’s no doubt that Microsoft has needed a display ad infrastructure–one which aQuantitve will provide. However, I really, really wish Microsoft had built one from the ground up. Why? Because I had hoped it would create an infrastructure well tuned to its many “partner” sites–those run by the tech enthusiasts. My concern is–and it’s a completely based on instinct rather than first hand knowledge–is that aQuantitve will be a good match for MSN, Xbox and other bid-advertising channels. What made Google so explosive in its early days was how it enabled everyone, from the little guy to the big ad buyer with its meager search results ads. There’s definitely been a huge hole left by Google for better more focused advertising, but is this it? Was there a more efficient way to go? Seems like it to me. But what do I know?
There’s no doubt though that automating advertising and bringing it into other channels is a wise move. Good to see Microsoft make one more step.