Microsoft to Acquire aQuantive, Inc. Company Details Plans to Build Internet-Wide Advertising Platform for

Advertisers, Publishers and Ad Agencies



    REDMOND, Wash., May 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft(R) Corp.
 today announced it will acquire aQuantive, Inc., for $66.50 per share in an
 all-cash transaction valued at approximately $6 billion. This deal expands
 upon the Company's previously outlined vision to provide the advertising
 industry with a world class, Internet-wide advertising platform, as well as
 a set of tools and services that help its constituents generate the highest
 possible return on their advertising investments.
     (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)
     "The advertising industry is evolving and growing at an incredible
 pace, moving increasingly toward online and IP-served platforms, which
 dramatically increases the importance of software for this industry," said
 Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. "Today's announcement
 represents the next step in the evolution of our ad network from our
 initial investment in MSN(R), to the broader Microsoft network including
 Xbox Live, Windows Live and Office Live, and now to the full capacity of
 the Internet. Microsoft is intensely committed to creating a thriving
 advertising business and to partnering closely with all key constituencies
 in this industry to help maximize the digital advertising opportunity for
 all."
     The aQuantive acquisition enables Microsoft to strengthen relationships
 with advertisers, agencies and publishers by enhancing the Company's world-
 class advertising platforms and services beyond its current capabilities to
 serve MSN. The acquisition also provides Microsoft increased depth in
 building and supporting next generation advertising solutions and
 environments such as cross media planning, video-on-demand and IPTV.
 Combining aQuantive's technologies and services with Microsoft's portfolio
 will provide value for the industry's key constituencies as follows:
     *  Advertisers and ad agencies will benefit from a world-class media
        planning, buying and campaign management solution to drive maximum ROI
        and optimize their reach to audiences across the increasingly
        fragmented, interactive media landscape.
 
     *  Media owners/publishers will gain access to best-in-class inventory
        optimization and monetization solutions across a full suite of rich
        media, video and targeting capabilities.
 
     *  The broader advertising ecosystem will benefit from the leading
        interactive advertising agency, Avenue A | Razorfish, continuing to
        serve its impressive client roster, while also embedding the voice of
        the marketer into Microsoft's next generation advertising solutions and
        services.
     Founded in 1997, aQuantive, Inc. (Nasdaq:   AQNT) is the parent company
 of one of the industry's most successful families of digital marketing
 service and technology companies, encompassing three primary brands.
     *  Atlas provides a set of advanced tools for both advertisers and
        publishers. The Atlas Media Console is an industry-leading toolset
        providing agencies and advertisers with capabilities to maximize ROI.
        The Atlas Publisher platform enables publishers to maximize
        monetization opportunities for their content.
 
     *  DRIVEpm provides services to publishers and advertisers that match
        advertiser campaigns with publisher inventory enabling all parties to
        maximize ROI.
 
     *  Avenue A | Razorfish is one of the largest interactive ad agencies in
        the world, providing advertisers with industry-leading digital
        marketing consultation, media planning and buying, and creative
        services that help advertisers use the online channel to build
        meaningful, profitable relationships with their customers.
     "Combining the talented people and deep technology and service
 expertise of these two companies will help make buying and selling media
 simpler, smarter and more cost effective for advertisers, agencies and
 publishers alike," said Kevin Johnson, president, Platforms and Services
 Division at Microsoft. "Joining the capabilities of these groups is an
 important step toward our goal of becoming an industry leading,
 Internet-wide advertising platform."
     "aQuantive's mission has been to leverage the power of digital
 marketing services and technologies to drive measurable results for our
 clients," said Brian P. McAndrews, chief executive officer of aQuantive.
 "Microsoft has set a leading example in prioritizing industry partnership,
 transparency, measurement and quality, and we look forward to combining
 forces and bringing the value of our combined assets to bear for the
 benefit of advertisers, ad agencies and publishers."
     The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of Microsoft's
 fiscal year 2008. The acquisition is not expected to have a significant
 impact on the financial guidance previously issued by the Company.
     aQuantive, which has approximately 2600 employees, will continue to
 operate from its Seattle headquarters as part of Microsoft's Online
 Services Business. The combination of Microsoft and aQuantive takes the
 Company's advertising platform to the next level in its ability to serve
 Microsoft's first party audience assets like MSN, Windows Live, Xbox Live,
 and Office Live, as well as for third party publishers and applications
 such as Facebook and Activision game titles.
     At 5:45 a.m. PDT today, Microsoft will hold a teleconference to discuss
 the acquisition. To participate, U.S. residents can dial 888-930-9423, and
 those outside the United States can dial + 1-773-681-5992. Passcode is
 2760445. The call will be available for playback beginning approximately
 one hour after the conclusion of the call through 5pm PDT on Tuesday, May
 22. To access the playback, U.S. residents can dial 800-774-9248, and those
 outside the United States can dial +1 402-220-0372. An audio webcast of the
 conference call will also be made available at the investor relations
 website http://www.microsoft.com/msft.
     About aQuantive
     aQuantive, Inc., is a global digital marketing company, founded in 1997
 to help marketers acquire, retain and grow customers across all digital
 media. It is the parent company of Avenue A | Razorfish, the largest
 interactive agency in the U.S., and five international agencies, DNA,
 Amnesia, NEUE DIGITALE, e-Crusade and Duke; Atlas, provider of integrated
 digital marketing technologies and expertise; and DRIVEpm, MediaBrokers and
 Franchise Gator, performance media and behavioral targeting businesses.
 Through its business units, aQuantive is positioned to bring value to any
 interaction in the digital marketplace. Its stock (ticker symbol: AQNT) is
 listed on the NASDAQ exchange. aQuantive's website address is
 www.aquantive.com.
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
 their full potential.
     For further information regarding risks and uncertainties associated
 with Microsoft's business, please refer to the "Management's Discussion and
 Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Risk
 Factors" sections of Microsoft's SEC filings, including, but not limited
 to, its annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q,
 copies of which may be obtained by contacting Microsoft's Investor
 Relations department at (800) 285- 7772 or at Microsoft's Investor
 Relations website at http://www.microsoft.com/msft.
     All information in this release is as of May 17, 2007. The company
 undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the
 statement to actual results or changes in the company's expectations.
     Microsoft and MSN are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.
 
 

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.
RELATED LINKS
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