20070519

aQuantive, the ad fad and the virtual estate bubble

DoubleClick @ Google = $3.1 Bn. RightMedia @ Yahoo! = $680 M. Real Media @ WPP = $649 M. aQuantive @ Microsoft = $6 Bn...
The Virtual Estate bubble keeps inflating. Six billion bucks, that's a lot of dough, even for Microsoft who never signed such a big check (except to its owners, that is). Besides, this QuadrupleClick extravaganza is equivalent to a 85% premium vs AQTN's Tuesday's closing price...
Is Redmond that desperate not to miss the next train and this discreet commuter living around the same station (aQ are based in Seattle, WA) ? At this price, they could even go for the real thing, a real adco.
Somehow, MSN's mother company was supposed to have at least some notions of advertising. Ditto Yahoo! & Co. One can wonder whether this really will add sense to Google, today's king of online advertising.
Well. For one thing, it was a matter of taking a fifth P, lifting a powerful leg to mark one's territory. And Razorfish (one of the franchises owned by aQuantive holdings) is not the smallest one in this pond. Actually, there was a competition raging for this prize.
Yet fundamentally, there is the necessity to distinguish the media from the advertising platform. In real life, Viacom enjoys strong positions both as a media and as an adco... but not on the very same turf either. That can be OK when you are a huge conglomerate with the ability to build Chinese Walls. But it can't work when you are used to grow following the microsoftian model.



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