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Microsoft writes down $6.2 billion on aQuantive deal

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Redmond, Wash.—Microsoft Corp. plans to take a $6.2 billion accounting charge related to online ad service aQuantive Inc. That amount is almost the entire price Microsoft paid for the underperforming unit in 2007. “While the aQuantive acquisition continues to provide tools for Microsoft's online advertising efforts, the acquisition did not accelerate growth to the degree anticipated, contributing to the write-down,” Microsoft said in a statement. AQuantive faced stiff competition in particular from Google's DoubleClick online ad service. The aQuantive acquisition was Microsoft's costliest until last year, when it bought online communications company Skype Communications for $8.5 billion.
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