EXCLUSIVE: aQuantive Ads Up


We have an exclusive Friday night... the world's biggest software company waged its biggest takeover, ever. Microsoft (MSFT) will pay $6 billion for online advertiser aQuantive (AQNT). The deal represents an 85% premium above aQuantive's price Thursday.

It comes just a month after Google paid 3 billion for DoubleClick and illustrates the scramble to control the booming online advertising market.

aQuantive's CEO Brian McAndrews joins the guys in a First on Fast exclusive..

What do you believe you can accomplish with this?

The deal accelerates what we are doing already, answers McAndrews. All areas of aQuantive are growing but this is an opportunity to go into business with the world’s largest technology company.

McAndrews adds this will be an important marriage for emerging media where MSFT has already made investments in advertising on games and mobile, while aQuantive has made investments in video-on-demand.

How much money will land in your business?

We’ve been growing rapidly, but now we can accelerate growth in areas where scale is important like in Atlas, (a provider of digital marketing technologies) and Drivepm, (which serves as a liaison between online publishers and advertisers by buying blocks of online ad inventory from publishers and reselling the inventory to advertisers on a highly targeted basis.)

How soon until every viewer can be measured?

5-10 years answer McAndrews. Next year, it’s estimated 40 million homes will have Video on Demand. And with DVR’s TV is becoming more like the internet, more of a time based medium.

Is a deal now more probable between Microsoft and Yahoo (YHOO) because your company is creating a cultural bridge?

I think we’re very culturally compatible with MSFT, we’re in the same city. They’re a customer of ours and we of theirs. But I can’t speculate beyond that, says McAndrews.

What happens to the landscape, now that you’re no longer an independent player?

McAndrews says aQuantive will continue to compete. “We’re no longer independent from a stock market perspective, but it changes nothing with our customers,” he explains.

Is MSFT now poised to build more momentum?

Digital advertising is a key strategic opportunity for MSFT, say McAndrews. aQuantive is very complementary to Microsoft’s future.

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