Microsoft's Big Online Ad Buy

In its largest acquisition ever, the software giant is spending $6 billion for online marketing powerhouse aQuantive

There's rarely been a doubt that Microsoft (MSFT) intends to compete with Google (GOOG). Yet for the past few years, the software giant's efforts to take on the search giant appeared to be half-measures, as its focus always seemed diverted by other businesses. But on May 18, Microsoft made its boldest statement yet that it intends to become a dominant force in the online world. The company dug deep into its vast cash holdings and agreed to its biggest acquisition ever, a $6 billion purchase of online marketing powerhouse aQuantive (AQNT).

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