After Buying Performics From Google, Publicis Buys Razorfish From Microsoft

Yesterday Microsoft and French advertising holding company Publicis Groupe announced that the latter was buying agency Razorfish. Razorfish came to Microsoft as part of the $6 billion aQuantive deal, the largest acquisition in Redmond’s history.

As part of the deal Publicis will give Microsoft 6.5 million shares, amounting to a roughly 3 percent stake in the holding company. The total value of the deal is estimated at $530 million. Just over half of that will be in cash. According to a statement by Publicis CEO Maurice Levy, “Once this acquisition is complete, about a quarter of our revenue will come from digital communication…”

In an earlier, parallel move, Publicis also bought Performics from Google almost exactly a year ago. Performics was part of the DoubleClick transaction.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

As part of the pact, Publicis has entered a “strategic alliance” with Microsoft, which includes a five-year media-buying relationship. In return for buying a certain amount of display and search advertising on Microsoft properties, Publicis will receive better ad rates.

Publicis also has similar sounding deal with Google, though there don’t appear to be any ad-buying quotas or favorable pricing as part of that relationship.

The Microsoft-Publicis deal includes paid search. One question is: how will this deal affect Yahoo’s role selling “premium search” on behalf of both Microsoft and itself? Publicis’ advertisers are all the kind that fall into the “premium” category.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Microsoft: Bing Ads | Microsoft: Business Issues | Microsoft: Outside US | Microsoft: Partnerships | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • nickstamoulis

    Wow, this is amazing news, it sounds to me like Microsoft is really building and places their chess pieces for the online advertising/search marketplaces…

  • http://nsadurni nsadurni

    Publicis is investing heavily in online companies as the company sees a good opportunity in online despite of recession, and envisages promising future compared to offline.The reality is that merchants are shifting budget from offline to online. What is really interesting is how the company is filling gaps: Performics, then Razorfish.If total search advertising increased by 24% according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 2008 compared to only 5% for online display advertising, and it is expected to continue this path, it is likely that Publicis’s next acquistion will be a pure search specialist.

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