AT&T transfers nascent digital advertising platform Xandr to Microsoft’s balance sheet

According to an AT&T press release, Microsoft is now the proud owner of its old digital media advertising solution, Xandr.

While the price and terms have yet to be disclosed, the overall deal has gone public and puts an exclamation mark on AT & T’s offer to become a digital advertising platform.

In 2018, AT&T acquired AppNexus, which later became Xandr, for $ 1.6 billion in an attempt to compete with Facebook and Google in the advertising industry.

AT&T has sought to leverage its wireless subscriber base and television advertising space with content produced by brands such as CNN, TNT and Warner Media in order to gain a foothold in the advertising space.

However, the initiative was mismanaged and eventually became a financial albatross on AT & T’s financial records to the tune of $ 50-90 million in losses per year.

The decision to ditch Xandr follows Verizon’s divestiture of its Yahoo media business to private equity firm Apollo Global after an equally botched effort to become an advertising platform.

For Microsoft’s part, it will take Xandr on top of its current ad platform and possibly replace its aQuantive $ 6.2 billion depreciation from 2012.

At this time, it’s unclear exactly how Microsoft plans to operate Xandr, but the company has released a statement outlining some general applications of the acquisition, including accelerating its current digital advertising platform as well as the strengthening its retail media capacities.

“With the talent and technology of Xandr, Microsoft can accelerate the delivery of its digital advertising and retail media solutions, shaping the digital advertising market of tomorrow into one that respects consumers’ preferences. of privacy, understands publisher’s relationship with consumers and helps advertisers achieve their goals, ”said Mikhail Parakhin, president of web experiences at Microsoft.

Microsoft has once again come under the umbrella of running an acquisition ad platform, however Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella appears poised to extract much better value from Xandr than former CEO Steve Ballmer from aQuantive.

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