Media News - Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Microsoft could plunge to a quarterly loss after taking a USD 6.2bn charge against its balance sheet by writing down the value of its aQuantive online advertising service, bought in May 2007, almost to zero. The decision reflects its inability to produce further revenue from the service, and could push the company into a technical loss in its quarterly results for the three months to 30 June, where analysts had expected it to make a profit of USD 5.3bn. The figures will be announced on 17 July. The software giant blamed the setback primarily on aQuantive's disappointing performance, and admitted that while business in its online services division – in which its Bing search engine and aQuantive were housed – has been improving "the company's expectations for future growth and profitability are lower than previous estimates." At USD 6.2bn the aQuantive purchase was, at the time, the most expensive acquisition in the company's 37-year history. Since it bought aQuantive, Microsoft's online division has reported losses totaling nearly USD 9bn. (The Guardian)
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