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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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus