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Facebook Buys Online Advertising Unit from Microsoft

February 28, 2013

By Paul Thomson :: 9:32 PM

Microsoft sells advertising platform to Facebook.Microsoft today announced the sale of its Atlas Advertising Suite product to Facebook for an undisclosed amount.

The deal was widely expected in the tech sector, and probably closed somewhere between $30 and $50 million. The sale is the last step in Microsoft’s failed acquisition of ad shop aQuantive, which included the Atlas tools as part of the purchase. Microsoft had purchased aQuantive in 2007 for $6.3 billion, shortly after rival Google closed on its DoubleClick deal.

Tom Phillips, senior director of communications for Microsoft’s advertising unit told USAToday that the sale “does not diminish our commitment to online advertising, in either display or search.”

A spokesperson for Facebook says that the social network hopes to make improvements to the Atlas platform by scaling its back-end metrics systems and enhancing its advertiser tools for desktop and mobile platforms. Improvements will also be made the user interface and overall functionality to improve the effectiveness of Atlas.

Microsoft employees who were formerly on the Atlas team will work from Facebook’s Seattle offices.