Microsoft Moves Display Ads to AOL, Sells Bing Imaging to Uber

Under a new 10-year agreement that starts in 2016, AOL will be taking over a large part of Microsoft's display ad sales for numerous sites and services, including MSN, Xbox, Outlook.com and Skype. As part of the partnership, announced Monday, AOL will adopt Microsoft's Bing as its exclusive provider of search and search advertising services across all of its properties.

In a separate deal, first reported Monday by TechCrunch, Microsoft will also sell some of its mapping-focused Bing assets -- including around 100 engineers -- to the app-based transportation provider Uber.

Also on Monday, Microsoft announced an expanded partnership with AppNexus, a New York-based firm that provides a technology platform for online ad campaign sales and management. As part of that agreement, AppNexus will become Microsoft's exclusive technology and sales partner for programmatic ad sales across 10 European markets.

'One Selling Motion' for Ads

Working together, Microsoft and AOL will "will create a powerhouse media offering with a remarkable set of differentiated assets," Microsoft executives Rik van der Kooi and Frank Holland said in a blog post. The partnership introduces "one selling motion" across numerous AOL and Microsoft properties, which will leave both companies "uniquely positioned to deliver more scale of premium inventory and target audiences across display, video and mobile," according to the companies.

The deal hands AOL responsibility for all of Microsoft's ad inventory in nine key markets: the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan.

Programmatic marketing has recently emerged as a fast-growing approach for automating the purchase and placement of online and other ads. In April, AOL, which is being acquired by Verizon for $4.4 billion, launched the "One" programmatic ad platform for optimizing campaigns across multiple channels.

"This collaboration further validates our leadership position in digital advertising and the shift to automation, while also...

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