Facebook buys Atlas as part of bid for more effective advertising
APSAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook is buying a set of online advertising tools called Atlas from Microsoft in its latest attempt to build a more effective marketing system around its social network.
March 2, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
In making the deal announced Thursday, Facebook is betting the acquired technology will be more fruitful under new ownership than it was during the past 5 1/2 years under Microsoft's control. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Atlas is part of an online advertising service called aQuantive, which Microsoft Corp. bought for US$6.3 billion in 2007. Aquantive didn't bring in as much online ad revenue as Microsoft envisioned, prompting the software maker to absorb a US$6.2 billion charge last year that resulted in its first quarterly loss in its 26-year history as a public company.
Given the magnitude of that write-down, Facebook probably didn't have to pay much to take Atlas off Microsoft's hands. The undisclosed purchase price is a sign that the amount isn't substantial enough to leave a big dent in the company's finances.