Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Facebook in Talks to Buy Microsoft’s Atlas Ad Platform

According to sources close to the situation, Facebook is looking seriously at purchasing Microsoft’s Atlas Solutions ad-serving platform.

Sources said the social networking giant has been conducting due diligence on the media measurement platform, part of its efforts to create its own advertising network for third-party Web sites to compete with Google’s DoubleClick offering.

Atlas has been quietly on the market for some time and has been looked at by a number of companies, such as Adobe, said sources. But the effort to sell it got a jumpstart with recent interest from Facebook, which had been debating buy-versus-build options.

While there are some technological issues in taking over Atlas, sources said the prospect of starting from scratch was more daunting than picking up a platform that already delivers billions of ad impressions a day.

Atlas was acquired by Microsoft as part of its 2007 purchase of aQuantive for $6 billion. The new price for Atlas will be substantially lower, said sources, but could involve a more complex advertising agreement between Facebook and Microsoft.

Facebook declined comment and I am awaiting a response from Microsoft.

(Business Insider is also reporting that the pair are in talks.)


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik