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Microsoft takes a ($6-billion) page from Google

Microsoft Corp. [MSFT-Q]sought to quell Google Inc.'s [GOOG-Q]growing dominance in the lucrative Internet advertising business Friday by orchestrating its biggest acquisition yet, a $6-billion (U.S.) purchase of an online marketing firm.
Microsoft's offer for Seattle-based aQuantive Inc. [AQNT-Q] represents almost twice what Google paid just last month for privately held DoubleClick Inc. Both technology giants are moving to strengthen their hands in the hot, emerging sector of brokering and managing Internet advertisements.
Microsoft is widely believed to have lost out in a bidding war for DoubleClick, and its all-cash offer for aQuantive, representing an 85-per-cent premium above the firm's market value, is designed to leave little room for a competitor to muscle in.
"We believe it's exactly the right company to buy, and hence we're willing to pay," Microsoft chief financial officer Chris Liddell said on a conference call outlining the Friday. read more

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