Facebook in talks to buy Microsoft ad technology: reports

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Dec 6, 2012 2:32pm EST

The sun sets on the entrance sign at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, the night before the company's IPO launch, May 17, 2012. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

The sun sets on the entrance sign at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, the night before the company's IPO launch, May 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Beck Diefenbach

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc is in negotiations with Microsoft Corp about acquiring advertising technology that could allow the social network displays ads on other websites, broadly expanding its advertising business, according to media reports on Thursday.

Facebook is in "serious" discussions with Microsoft about a deal to purchase Atlas Solutions, an ad-serving product that Microsoft acquired through its $6 billion acquisition of aQuantive in 2007, according to reports in the technology blogs Business Insider and AllThingsDigital on Thursday.

The deal could allow Facebook to significantly expand its advertising business by showing ads on third-party websites, mounting a challenge to Google Inc's DoubleClick ad network, said the reports, which cited anonymous sources.

The potential price for the acquisition was unclear, though Business Insider said the highest bid for Atlas in Microsoft's previous attempts to sell the business was $30 million.

Facebook and Microsoft representatives declined to comment.

Facebook, the world's No. 1 online social network with roughly 1 billion users, has been moving aggressively to bolster its advertising business with new capabilities, including ads on mobile devices and features that demonstrate the effectiveness of its ads to marketers.

Facebook currently generates 86 percent of its revenue, which totaled roughly $1.3 billion in the third quarter, from ads that appear on its own website.

Shares of Facebook were off 1.2 percent, or 33 cents, at $27.38 in midday trading on Thursday. Microsoft shares were up 7 cents at $26.73.

(Reporting By Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

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Comments (1)
AlkalineState wrote:
Facebook pokes microsoft ad software. Software hits thumbs-up to like facefook. Facebook likes microsoft back, asks her to coffee.

BFF tech bubbles. So cute.

Dec 06, 2012 5:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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