Microsoft shuts down its ad-exchange acquisition

Posted by sumeethevans on February 2 2011, 7:10 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

To those wondering why Microsoft has become increasingly cautious about acquisitions, here’s another morsel for thought.

Between 2006 and 2008, Microsoft bought at least eight search/advertising-related companies. On the list: Massive, aQuantive and AdECN, among others.

We’ve heard about Microsoft allegedly pulling the plug on Massive, its in-game advertising purchase. It has lost a number of its aQuantive execs and sold off part of that company (Razorfish) after buying it. And this week, we learn that Microsoft is closing down AdECN, the ad-exchange network it bought that year.

Thrice burned, thrice shy? Are these kinds of seemingly bad bets at least part of the reason why CEO Steve Ballmer has been putting the brakes on Microsoft’s acquisition spree for the past year-plus? Do you blame him?

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