Consolidation in the internet marketing sector continues apace with the announcement of two major deals.

Microsoft has announced that it has acquired digital marketing world-player aQuantive in an agreement worth $6 billion ($3 billion).

"Microsoft is intensely committed to creating a thriving advertising business and to partnering closely with all key constituencies in this industry to help maximise the digital advertising opportunity for all," said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive officer, on the acquisition.

That news followed an announcement from WPP – the world’s second-largest advertising agency – that it has sealed a deal worth $649 million (£329 million) to take over 24/7 Real Media.

Microsoft was also reported to be weighing up a bid for digital marketing company, as well as having talks with search engine rival Yahoo! over a possible sale.

Both companies’ moves come as part of a wave of consolidation in the online marketing field, which has seen Google, Yahoo! and AOL all acquiring advertising firms in recent weeks.

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