Microsoft announced Friday it is acquiring online ad agency aQuantive in a six billion cash deal, to throw its hat in the hot online ad space and compete with rivals Yahoo and Google.
"This deal takes our advertising business to a new level," said Microsoft COO Kevin Johnson during a call with analysts Friday. "This allows us to take a bigger piece of that 40 billion pie that is still growing."
Microsoft execs reportedly said the deal was important, because many online services that the company is offering, from software to video games, become more dependent upon online ad revenue. There were recent reports Microsoft was interested in purchasing rival Yahoo in a deal that might be worth 50 billion, but that apparently didn't pan out.