FTC approves Microsoft's aQuantive acquisition

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The Federal Trade Commission has tacitly approved Microsoft's $6 billion acquisition of online advertising company aQuantive by allowing its 30-day investigation period to pass without requesting further information, according to Microsoft spokesman Guy Esnouf.

"It could have issued a second request and gone into it further, as the FTC has done with the Google-DoubleClick acquisition," he said. "We believe these are very different transactions".
Microsoft's acquisition of aQuantive followed Google's earlier announcement that it would buy online ad technology company DoubleClick Inc for $3.1 billion. With the aQuantive buyout, the Redmond-based software maker hopes to increase advertising revenue from its Live search engine and boost competition against rival Google. The FTC, for its part, seems to agree that Microsoft’s acquisition of aQuantive raises fewer red flags than Google's purchase of DoubleClick.

In June, the FTC made a "second request" for more information regarding the Google-DoubleClick acquisition, "which is a fairly common step for acquisitions of this size," Google said. "We are cooperating with that request as the FTC's review of the acquisition continues."
The closing of aQuantive’s merger with Microsoft still needs the approval of the company's shareholders; a voting will take place at a special meeting that has been scheduled for August ninth. Microsoft said it looks forward to finalizing the transaction by the end of the year, if not considerable sooner.

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