Microsoft exits ad business in deal with AOL, hands maps to Uber

Back to its roots

Microsoft Bing Ads

Microsoft has inked a deal with Verizon-owned AOL that will see the latter take over its advertising business while Microsoft's Bing search engine will replace Google as the default search engine for AOL properties, keeping Bing for search ads.

Gone are the days when Microsoft wanted to compete with Google with that massive aQuantive purchase ($6bn- about £4bn, AU$8bn) in 2007, its biggest to that point), one that left it with a very expensive bill and with no other choice than to write it off completely just five years later.

Costly exit

Instead, Microsoft, under new CEO Satya Nadella, is focusing on getting the basics right and reinventing itself. Advertising company AppNexus will become its exclusive programmatic partner in 10 key markets with AOL covering the rest.

Rik van der Kooi, corporate vice president of Microsoft's ad business, said that it makes complete sense for the company to line up with AOL based on trends in the industry. About 1200 Microsoft staff will be offered jobs at AOL.

Microsoft has also announced that it will be selling digital mapping technology plus ancillary IP to Uber Technologies Inc, better known for its cabbing service, Uber. About 100 Bing Maps are expected to move over to Uber as the latter continues to work towards reducing its reliance on Google technology.

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