Microsoft's own on-line advertising service called Microsoft AdCenter seems to never leave a closed beta, and it's only targeting U.S. market at the moment anyway.
Now it will be even harder for on-line advertising networks to catch up with Google's AdSense.
The official press release says Google is paying US$3.1 billion for DoubleClick Inc., a company with 1200 employees and interests in digital marketing technology and services.
The acquisition will combine DoubleClick’s expertise in ad management technology for media buyers and sellers with Google’s leading advertising platform and publisher monetization services.
The combination of Google and DoubleClick will offer superior tools for targeting, serving and analyzing online ads of all types, significantly benefiting customers and consumers:
For users, the combined company will deliver an improved experience on the web, by increasing the relevancy and the quality of the ads they see.
For online publishers, the combination provides access to new advertisers, which creates a powerful opportunity to monetize their inventory more efficiently.
For agencies and advertisers, Google and DoubleClick will provide an easy and efficient way to manage both search and display ads in one place. They will be able to optimize their ad spending across different online media using a common set of metrics.
DoubleClick is headquartered in New York, and counts 17 offices and development hubs and 15 data centers worldwide.
Interestingly in the last few days I've seem a few banner ads being served by Google AdSense, and the images were being hosted by Doubleclick. Was that an indication or was it always possible to do?
A complete FAQ is available (pdf) from Google.
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