Microsoft Completes aQuantive Acquisition, Creates ‘Advertiser and Publisher Solutions’ Group

Microsoft has officially completed the acquisition of aQuantive Inc., which includes agency Avenue A | Razorfish and the Atlas ad-serving platform. The acquisition was the largest in Microsoft’s history, valued at roughly $6 billion. The company has also simultaneously created a new group that it’s calling the “Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group.”

According to the press release:

This new business group is charged with product management, planning and business development related to all ad platforms, tools and services for the advertiser and publisher communities (including Atlas, MSNDR and Microsoft adCenter along with emerging media types such as in-game and mobile ads) and the agency arm Avenue A | Razorfish. The APS group will be run by Brian McAndrews, CEO of aQuantive, who will report directly to Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft’s Platforms & Services Division (PSD).

Here’s the rest of the reporting structure (as also reported in the release):

  • Steve Berkowitz, Online Services Group, is responsible for Microsoft’s “audience” business and for delivering great end-user online services that attract users and deepen customer engagement. These online services include the MSN.com portal, Windows Live services and Live Search.

  • Brian McAndrews, Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group, is responsible for building the monetization engine to serve the advertising and publishing community.
  • Satya Nadella, Search & Advertising Platform Group, is focused on building innovative technologies in search and designing the advertising platform to support Microsoft’s business and customer goals.
  • Yusuf Mehdi will take on the newly formed role in PSD of senior vice president, Strategic Partnerships, where he will be focused on overseeing international mergers, acquisitions and partnerships; managing strategic accounts; and forging relationships with early stage startups and venture capital firms. Mike Galgon, an aQuantive co-founder, has been named chief advertising strategist and will report to McAndrews.

Microsoft also recently acquired burgeoning ad exchange AdECN. Its CEO Bill Urschel will report into Satya Nadella’s Search & Advertising Platform group.

Analytics firm Compete has reported two months of share gains for Microsoft Live, based largely upon the apparent popularity of the the Live Search Club.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Microsoft: Bing Ads | Microsoft: Business Issues

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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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