Microsoft is to take a $6.2bn write down on the value of its aQuantive unit, just shy of the cash it handed over for the 2007 acquisition.
The company said that disappointing returns on its purchase of aQuantive would lead it to write down a $6.2bn 'goodwill' loss on its fourth quarter financial returns which would be attributed to its Online Services division.
"While the aQuantive acquisition continues to provide tools for Microsoft’s online advertising efforts, the acquisition did not accelerate growth to the degree anticipated, contributing to the write down," the company said in a statement.
The company said that the one-time charge will not impact its ongoing business or financial performance.
Microsoft had acquired aQuantive in 2007 in a bid to improve its online advertising business. The deal, which had valued aQuantive shares at roughly twice the price they had been trading for at the time, was believed to have been made in large part to keep up with Google's earlier purchase of DoubleClick.
While the DoubleClick deal has since become a significant part of Google's advertising business, Microsoft was unable to reap similar benefits from aQuantive.
"Bing search share in the US has been increasing, revenue per search has been growing, MSN is the number one portal in 29 markets worldwide and the company’s partnership with Yahoo has continued to expand geographically," Microsoft said.
"While the Online Services Division business has been improving, the company’s expectations for future growth and profitability are lower than previous estimates."
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