The Frienemy of My Frienemy Is My Enemiend
If Microsoft is planning an acquisition in the online marketing and advertising space, it better act fast, because if it waits much longer there won’t be anything left to acquire. This morning marketing conglomerate WPP agreed to pay $649 million for 24/7 Real Media, one of the last remaining independent Internet advertising specialists, in an effort to catch up with Google’s expanding online advertising business. WPP CEO “Martin Sorrell has said that he views Google as a ‘frienemy,’ ” Dave Morgan, chairman of online ad network Tacoda, told the New York Times. “He wants Google to view him as a frienemy, too. He has now given his response, which is that he’s not going to just sit and wait and see what happens. He’s going to take an aggressive position against a world where Google and Yahoo will dominate.”
The WPP-24/7 Real Media deal follows Google’s recent acquisition of DoubleClick and Yahoo’s purchase of Right Media and puts to rest rumors that Microsoft was considering offering as much as $1 billion for 24/7 Real Media. Which begs the question: Has the software giant turned its attentions to aQuantive or ValueClick? Or has it concluded that there’s no reason to acquire an ad network when it already has a killer publisher ad server?