Hot on the heels of its purchase of mobile Marketing firm Third Screen Media, AOL has acquired a controlling interest in German online ad-serving company AdTech.
This gives AOL "an advanced ad-serving platform that includes an array of ad management and delivery applications enabling website publishers to manage, traffic and report on their Online Advertising campaigns".
AdTech will be an independent subsidiary of internet advertising agency Advertising.com.
The AdTech platform features publisher-friendly tools, with intuitive interfaces and top-class inventory management and forecasting capabilities.
"AdTech is a perfect complement to Advertising.com's display, video and affiliate advertising networks, letting us provide publishers with a single-source solution for ad management and monetisation," said Advertising.com's Lynda Clarizio
The deal comes at a time of consolidation within the internet advertising industry. Google recently purchased DoubleClick, a leading online ad firm, for $3.1 billion. This was shortly followed by Yahoo's purchase of Right Media.
Microsoft will now be able to expand on its aim of producing an internet-wide advertising platform that can help all users gain the highest possible return on their advertising investments.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, said: "The advertising industry is evolving and growing at an incredible pace, moving increasingly toward online and IP-served platforms, which dramatically increases the importance of software for this industry.
"Today's announcement represents the next step in the evolution of our ad network from our initial investment in MSN, to the broader Microsoft network including Xbox Live, Windows Live and Office Live, and now to the full capacity of the internet."
AQuantitive's main brands include the Atlas Media Console toolset and interactive ad agency Avenue A/Razorfish.
Internet retail is growing extremely rapidly and the major internet companies are pulling out all the stops to get ahead of their rivals.
The $6 billion that Microsoft is paying for aQuantitive represents an 85 per cent premium on the company's closing price on Thursday.
Source: Direct Traffic