News is buzzing around about Microsoft’s $6 billion acquisition of aQuantive! Yep, you read that right. Microsoft didn’t want to be left behind after Google bought the DoubleClick advertising firm for a whopping $3.1 billion, and Yahoo! quickly followed that up by purchasing Right Media for a mere $680 million. Now Microsoft is back in the advertising game thanks to their all-cash transaction of $6 billion for aQuantive!
It’s kinda funny though, because Microsoft was up-in-arms when Google announced that they were going to buy DoubleClick, now Microsoft went and purchased a company that is even larger (aQuantive has 2,600 employees while DoubleClick had just 1,200). Of course, it was expected that Microsoft was bidding on DoubleClick along with Google so when they lost the war they knew they had to do something. Instead of pushing harder against the Google/DoubleClick deal, it looks like Microsoft just decided to go bigger.
According to CNN Money, Microsoft said that they are happy with the price they paid for aQuantive, and that future acquisitions aren’t out of the question. At the end of last quarter Microsoft had $28.2 billion in cash, and in regards to other acquisitions Microsoft said “We certainly have the economic fire power if we decide to do more.”
I could definitely see Microsoft eyeing other companies to acquire, and the first that comes to mind is Zoho. They offer a wide variety of Office-like applications similar to the ones being developed by Google. Microsoft seems to be falling behind in that respect, so I would expect them to try and quickly catchup by making a few acquisitions. After all, the cool thing to do these days is to throw billions of dollars around!