After seemingly being rebuffed by Yahoo!, software giant Microsoft's next foray into the world of online advertising has seen it shell out $6-billion for global digital marketing outfit, aQuantive.

Just last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer indicated that the company wouldn't be averse to "larger" acquisitions in its quest to catch up with rivals in this space, mainly Google.
Seattle-based aQuantive has been bought in an all-cash transaction valued at $66.50 a share and Microsoft says it will be merged inot its online services business division. aQuantive currently employs about 2 600 people.
"The advertising industry is evolving and growing at an incredible pace, moving increasingly toward online and IP-served platforms, which dramatically increases the importance of software for this industry," Ballmer says. "This deal expands upon the company's previously outlined vision to provide the advertising industry with a world-class, Internet-wide advertising platform."