Reports are coming out that Facebook and Microsoft are in talks for the former to buy the Atlas ad platform from Microsoft, which picked it up in its acquisition of aQuantive in 2007.
Sources of these stories appear to all be from outside of either company.
Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider reports:
Microsoft has been trying to sell Atlas for years, and one of our sources is close to a company that was interested in buying it. In recent days, Microsoft ended negotiations with this company, and said it was moving forward on a deal with Facebook.
Since then, Facebook and Microsoft employees have reached out to other ad tech companies to do research for the deal. A source at one of these companies briefed us on the details of those conversations.
Kara Swisher at All Things D is hearing a similar story, reporting:
Sources said the social networking giant has been conducting due diligence on the media measurement platform, part of its efforts to create its own advertising network to compete with Google’s DoubleClick offering
Facebook recently announced proposed changes to its Data Use Policy, which made it more clear that Facebook can easily take advantage of user data to serve ads outside of Facebook.
As Carlson notes, Facebook' s partnership with Datalogix, which has seen Facebook measuring the effectiveness of ad campaigns, would also fit nicely into the puzzle.