Microsoft has finished its acquisition of aQuantive, so for the low price of six billion dollars, it now owns a major internet advertising firm. Microsoft completed the acquisition well ahead of Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick, even though Google’s went through five weeks earlier, because Google is facing a pretty concerned Federal Trade Commission and Congress. Microsoft is even leading some of the lobbying efforts, saying Google’s actions are too anticompetitive, with no better evidence than its own giant, desperate purchase.
The FTC approved the acquisition only after shareholders of aQuantive voted to approve it. That vote took a real long time, all of six minutes.
The shareholder approval isn’t a surprise, considering the premium Microsoft is paying. Under the deal, Microsoft will pay $66.50 for every aQuantive share. That’s 85 percent more than the stock’s closing price before the deal was announced. As he was headed down the elevator afterward, I asked shareholder McDonald what he liked about the deal.
“The money part,” he said.