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Facebook announced on Thursday it has acquired Microsoft's Atlas Advertiser Suite, an online ad business and management service, after months of rumors that the two companies were in talks to make a deal.
The social network did not disclose the price of the deal, but sources told CNBC that it was around $100 million. Facebook said the deal will benefit both marketers and users.
"Today's marketing environment is much more complex than it was just a few short years ago," Facebook said in an official blog post. "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."
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The company said it looked to Atlas to help marketers and agencies get a full view of campaign performance, noting the service's capabilities for this type of analysis and measurement.
"We plan to improve Atlas' capabilities by investing in scaling its back-end measurement systems and enhancing its current suite of advertiser tools on desktop and mobile," Facebook said. "We will also work to improve the user interface and functionality with the goal of making Atlas the most effective, intuitive, and powerful ad serving, management and measurement platform in the industry.
Atlas, alongside Nielsen and Datalogix, will help advertisers "close the loop and compare their Facebook campaigns to the rest of their ad spend across the web on desktop and mobile," the company added.
Microsoft also issued a statement about why the company made the sale, noting that the "the timing was right" and the agreement allows it to focus more on evolving its vision for digital advertising.
"We feel that Facebook will afford the Atlas business and employees the greatest opportunity for continued growth," Microsoft said. "Moreover, in no way does this announcement change or diminish our commitment to online advertising, in either display or search."
Microsoft also said that a lot has changed since it acquired aQuantive (and by extension, Atlas) five years ago, adding that — at the time — it was in a race to build an ad technology platform and tools where other parties could conduct business.