Facebook has announced Thursday afternoon that is had purchased Microsoft’s Atlas Solutions, giving the social network better tools to boost its advertising network as it continues to grow and to give businesses greater feedback on customer interaction with ads once those customers leave the site. Although the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, CNBC’s Julia Boorstin reported the deal went for about $100 million.
Facebook explained in a press release how the purchase will help the company understand the impact of its ads across the network:
“Today’s marketing environment is much more complex than it was just a few short years ago. Marketers and agencies struggle to understand how their efforts across different channels complement and strengthen each other. Consequently, they are forced to adopt siloed marketing strategies for each channel, leading to poor and inconsistent end-user experiences.”
A deal between Facebook and Microsoft had been speculated about before, with Kara Swisher at AllThingsD reporting that Facebook was debating a build-versus-buy approach, but was leaning toward buy. She reported that acquiring Atlas would give the company a head start on ad impressions despite technological challenges that would come with the acquisition.
Facebook is working to grow its ad network, and Altas could help Facebook track users once they leave the site to see how effective the company’s ads really are. Microsoft acquired Atlas as part of its purchase of aQuantive for $6 billion in 2007. Dave O’Hara, CFO of Online Services Division at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post about the benefits for both companies in the deal:
“Earlier today, Facebook and Microsoft announced a definitive agreement in which Facebook has agreed to acquire the Atlas Advertiser suite. This agreement will strengthen our existing partnership and also includes a long-term strategic commercial relationship. Having been deeply involved in this deal since day one, I can say with confidence that we are quite pleased with this outcome and are excited to continue building a deeper partnership between our two companies.”