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Microsoft Moves Deeper Into Online Advertising

Microsoft is investing further in online advertising by acquiring AdECN, Inc., an ad exchange based near Santa Barbara (CA). Founded in 2003, AdECN brings relevant technologies and domain expertise to the Microsoft team.

AdECN's real-time auction marketplace for buying and selling display advertising is akin to that offered by Right Media, the company Yahoo agreed to buy outright for more than $680 million in April.

Microsoft made its desire to break into online adverting clear in May when it placed a stunning bid to acquire aQuantive, which includes the ad network Atlas, for $6 billion.

Also in May, Microsoft said it was acquiring European mobile advertising company ScreenTonic in a bid to expand its mobile expertise. ScreenTonic has relationships with some of the largest mobile providers in Belgium, France and the U.K. The firm currently markets an inventory of 80 million page impressions every month.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of Microsoft's fiscal year 2008. AdECN, which has approximately 30 employees, will continue to operate from its California headquarters as part of Microsoft's Online Services Business.

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