Facebook Purchases Atlas Solutions Ad Platform From Microsoft

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Social media giant Facebook has confirmed its acquisition of Atlas Solutions from Microsoft following months of negotiations and rumours on the matter.

AdAge and Business Insider previously carried in-depth stories of the impending buy-out, with both claiming sources close to the situation had told them the social network firm was in serious discussions to purchase the ad-serving product: A rumour now proved to be accurate.

Neither Facebook or Microsoft have commented on the figures exchanged between the two however.

Facebook has been moving to continue to expand its own advertising network and this acquisition could significantly help in doing that, although the firm claims Atlas Solutions will be focussed more on helping advertisers 'close the loop' in order to get a better understanding of how their invested money transfers to sales.

Facebook head of monetisation product marketing, Brian Boland, confirmed as much in an interview with TechCrunch.

He said: "Why we're doing this is not to launch an ad network, and why we did do this is to improve measurement. We heard loud and clear from advertisers that they want to understand multi-touch attribution instead of just looking at the last click."

The service would act as a way for Facebook to compete with Google's DoubleClick service, which it acquired in 2007 at a cost of $3.1 bn.

Facebook will hope that by acquiring the PPC services tool already in place with Atlas, they can save time on developing a whole system from scratch.

Microsoft initially acquired Atlas Solutions through its $6 bn purchase of aQuantive in 2007.

However Business Insider, who revealed negotiations were ongoing back in December, reported that sources close to the matter told them that prior to Facebook's emergence on the scene, the highest bid for Atlas stood at around $30m meaning that Microsoft would stand to make a significant lose on its purchase.

An advertising tool such as Atlas Solutions would provide Facebook with more ammunition to compete with Google in terms of advertising.

Due to the enormous scope of Facebook, with over a billion users currently registered, the social media company could potentially use this huge database of information to inform Internet marketers exactly whether or not a Facebook user actually saw an ad before then going on to buy it.

Currently Facebook generates around 86% of its revenue from ads that appears on the Facebook website.

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