Microsoft Corp said on Monday it completed a US$6 billion purchase of online advertising firm aQuantive Inc and was intent on seizing market share from rivals, Yahoo Inc and Google Inc.
Buying aQuantive is "a significant step" toward getting more of the US$40 billion spent annually on Internet advertising, Microsoft platforms and services division president Kevin 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 said.
Microsoft lags behind Google and Yahoo when it comes to attracting visitors to its Internet search web pages and garnering the online advertising revenues that come with such visits.
Microsoft announced last month that it was adding another weapon to its arsenal in the battle for online advertising dollars with the purchase of Internet ad exchange AdECN Inc.
The acquisitions come as Microsoft rivals Google, Yahoo and America Online (AOL) acquire firms specializing in tailoring Internet ads to the tastes or interests of Web site visitors.
Google is expanding its online advertising empire to video and graphics realms with the purchase of ad-targeting powerhouse DoubleClick Inc, an aQuantive competitor.
Time Warner subsidiary AOL is acquiring TACODA, a start-up that uses "behavioral targeting" to calculate which online ads are likely to result in money-making "clicks" by Internet users.
Yahoo bolstered its position in the Internet advertising market by taking over online advertising exchange Right Media Inc.
Right Media, like AdECN, has an exchange that serves as an online marketplace for buying and selling Internet display ads.