Microsoft underlines internet advertising intentions

Microsoft has underlined its intention to be a power player in the online advertising sector.

Speaking to journalists in Paris, the software giant's Jean-Philippe Courtois quoted analyst expectations when he predicted that the industry was growing by between 15 and 20 per cent each year, while advertising as a whole only gained around two or three per cent.

"We plan to participate in this big market," he said.

However, he appeared to tone down Microsoft's criticism of Google's £1.6 billion takeover of online advertising firm DoubleClick.

Microsoft has previously accused Google of creating a potential monopoly with the deal.

However, Mr Courtois said: "The question is not for Microsoft to have specific views (on this deal) … As in all markets, it is for the regulator to see if the competition is right."

Soon after the DoubleClick deal, Microsoft bought its rival Internet Advertising firm Aquantive for £3 billion.

ZenithOptimedia figures suggest that internet advertising spending could increase by 85 per cent over the 2006 to 2009 period.

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