By John McBride | Published: January 30, 2008 – 08:07AM CT
Redmond isn’t saying how much cash the deal will bring, but being a part of high-profile financial sites like the Wall Street Journal Online, Barrons.com and MarketWatch.com as well as Walt Mossberg’s AllThingsD.com, has got to be a coup, even if display ads aren’t part of the package.
“This deal is a significant win for Microsoft for two key reasons,” said Brian McAndrews, Microsoft’s senior vice president for Advertiser and Publisher Solutions. “First, it makes the extended Microsoft advertising network the premier destination for advertisers interested in reaching financially minded users, as it complements our offering in this vertical through MSN Money and other syndication partners. Second, this deal is a strong indicator that we’re gaining significant traction with our advertising platform.”
McAndrews left out a third bit of significance: Microsoft is taking the battle against Google to Google’s doorstep. Recall that MySpace, which like the WSJ is part of Rupert Murdoch’s giant News Corp., signed a $900 million advertising deal with Google in 2006. And the display ads on the WSJ sites are handled by Google’s DoubleClick. Bringing Microsoft aboard gives News Corp. a chance to evaluate both competitors in real time. If Microsoft plays its cards right—not to mention its adCenters and aQuantives—perhaps it can squeeze its rival out.