Microsoft to purchase aQuantive for $6 billion

News this morning that Microsoft is purchasing aQuantive for $6 billion.  From the press release:

"This deal expands upon the Company’s previously outlined vision to provide the advertising industry with a world class, Internet-wide advertising platform, as well as a set of tools and services that help its constituents generate the highest possible return on their advertising investments."

What I see missing there is a reason for the company to keep the Razorfish part of the equation…an ad platform doesn’t need the capability to build websites and intranets.  Look for a spinoff in the near future where Microsoft recoups some of their investment and another holding company gains digital expertise.

I’ll probably update this post after we’re officially briefed by MSFT/AQNT.

UPDATE: A quick thought when putting this deal in perspective of Google/Doubleclick and Acxiom and Epsilon being purchased.  Even related to TNS MI/Cymfony and Nielsen NetRatings/Buzzmetrics.  There’s been a lot of talk over the past year about money sitting on the sidelines.  It looks like that cash is finally in motion, with investors opting for proven bets this time around, very unlike the dot-com bubble.