Absorbing one-time $6.2 billion charge for poor ad performance
Microsoft is taking a one-time $6.2 billion charge to offset the lack of revenue from aQuantive, an ad service it purchased. The non-cash charge is likely to drive Microsoft $1 billion into the red for its fourth fiscal quarter ending in June, assuming estimates of $5.3 billion in profits pre-charge are correct. Quarterly results from the software giant are expected on July 19.
Microsoft Nixes Yahoo Bid
Microsoft on Saturday evening triggered surprise by withdrawing its bid for Yahoo. Company chief Steve Ballmer has validated earlier public comments expressing doubt over the viability of concluding a deal and has revealed that Microsoft offered to raise its bid up to $33 per share in an attempt to win over the Yahoo board of directors, which has insisted so far that the initial $31 per share bid undervalues the search engine giant's worth. The Microsoft executive also states that Yahoo has insisted on a higher-still bid and that his firm doesn't consider an extended proxy effort to install a sympathetic board to be effective.
Google Splits DoubleClick
Google today said it will sell off the search marketing portion of DoubleClick to ensure that its takeover bid goes through. Called Performics, the division is being split off by the search engine giant to convince users that the ads accompanying search results won't be influenced by a conflict of interest. Advertisers will need to know that Google is objective and won't bias the ads it displays towards any one advertiser, according to DoubleClick's Tom Phillips.
As a result of having received approval from the European Commission, Google is now formally announcing the completion of its acquisition of DoubleClick. The deal, worth $3.1 billion, will make the combined company the largest web advertiser in the world, beating even the combination of Microsoft and aQuantive. Google says it is now beginning to establish practical plans for the absorption of DoubleClick, which should be fully executed "by early April."
EU Yes to DoubleClick Deal
The European Commission today fully approved Google's proposed buyout of DoubleClick, all but ensuring the completion of the unprecedented move. The acquisition has been previously approved by the US Federal Trade Commission and received its blessing from the European agency in the belief that a combined Google/DoubleClick entity would not block out competing ad networks. As neither company has directly fought for similar business, the union of the two companies also won't create a monopoly, the Commission argues.
Microsoft Offers Yahoo Buy
Microsoft on Friday startled the industry by offering to buy Yahoo, potentially creating a major shift in online business. The proposal would see Microsoft pay $31 per share in a deal worth a total of $44.6 billion. This is 62 percent higher than Yahoo's closing stock price on Thursday, Microsoft observes. The latter argues that an acquisition would help both companies compete in web services and that about $1 billion per year could be saved between the two by eliminating overhead.
Deal-broker leaves MS
An executive responsible for some of Microsoft's biggest acquisitions has declared his intentions to leave the company, reports indicate. Bruce Jaffe, Microsoft's VP of corporate development, has announced that he will leave his position in February, with the stated goal of starting his own business. Jaffe has been with Microsoft since 1995, and is said to have been involved in the $240 million investment into Facebook, and the $6 billion purchase of the ad firm aQuantive. Microsoft just this week made an offer of $1.2 billion for the Norwegian search firm Fast Search and Transfer.
The US government's Federal Trade Commission has approved Google's acquisition of DoubleClick, the Associated Press reports. The two signed a deal in April worth $3.1 billion, but the purchase has since undergone much scrutiny, primarily due to worries that Google might develop a monopoly in online advertising. This opinion was voiced especially strongly by Microsoft and AT&T, despite the former of the two having bought the ad firm aQuantive. Microsoft is pushing heavily into areas currently ruled by Google, such as web search and mapping.