Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/01/facebook_buys_atlas_from_microsoft/

Facebook buys bits of written-off MSFT adware

User T&Cs probably re-written already as House of Zuck promises marketers good data

By Simon Sharwood

Posted in Business, 1st March 2013 04:50 GMT

Trivia time: What was the reason for Microsoft's first-ever loss?

The answer is the $US6.2 billion the company splashed on ad technology company aQuantive back in 2007, which by last July was judged a sufficiently dud investment that Redmond wrote it off, resulting in a loss for the quarter.

What to make then of the fact that Facebook has just bought Atlas, one component of the written-off Redmond adware?

Microsoft's version of events is that this is good news because the deal “includes a long-term strategic commercial relationship” and “Facebook is committed to ensuring the success of Atlas partners, customers and team members.” The deal also means Microsoft “will be building on an already strong partnership with Facebook for the benefit of both companies and their respective long-term visions.”

Facebook's take is that “Atlas is a leader in campaign management and measurement for marketers and agencies”. Facebook thinks it can make it even better by baking in multi-channel integration so marketers have one place they can measure different marketing channels, instead of using different measurement tools for each.

The Social Network therefore wants ” … 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.”

All of which should make Facebook a better advertising platform … for marketers. What it means for users is anyone's guess, although changes to Facebook's T&C's to allow Atlas-friendly tracking seems a safe bet.

Raised eyebrows down Adobe way also seem likely, given the company's Marketing Cloud offers overlapping functions. ®