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Microsoft Arranges To Sell Razorfish

Publicis bites for $530 million, strategic alliance agreement

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Before the end of the year, Microsoft should finally be rid of Razorfish.  The digital marketing agency, which Microsoft picked up during its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, is due to become part of the Publicis Groupe in exchange for $530 million and an advertising-related promise. 

Maurice Levy

This move has been quite some time in coming; even in the middle of 2008, there were reports that Microsoft was trying to unload Razorfish.  Then, at the end of June 2009, Maurice Levy, the CEO of Publicis, started to talk about opportunities and acquisitions.

Now, the two parties have settled on a mixture of cash and Publicis Groupe treasury shares worth $530 million, along with a five-year strategic alliance agreement with the potential to redirect some more money.

According to a statement, "The agreement helps Publicis Groupe media clients by allowing their agencies to purchase display and search advertising from Microsoft over the five-year term of the agreement on favorable terms, in exchange for certain minimum guaranteed aggregate purchase levels."

Razorfish’s clients include big companies like Best Buy, Ford, and McDonald’s, so Bing may see some impressive new advertisers as a result.

Microsoft Arranges To Sell Razorfish
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