Viacom signs Microsoft ad deal

MTV owner Viacom has signed a $500 million advertising and content deal with Microsoft in a move that will see the entertainment company drop Google’s DoubleClick.

The five-year deal will see Microsoft’s Atlas system replace DoubleClick to deliver ads across Viacom’s extensive range of US websites. Microsoft will also have the right to sell unsold display ads on Viacom’s websites on a revenue share basis, in a deal unveiled in the US yesterday.

The software giant will license video and audio from Viacom properties including MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures for use on the likes of MSN and Xbox 360.

Separately, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) confirmed that it: would not block the proposed Google-DoubleClick merger, despite earlier complaints raised by competitors and privacy advocates.

FTC regulators had been reviewing the proposed merger for months for possible antitrust violations, after Google announced plans in April to acquire the online ad serving company.

“After carefully reviewing the evidence, we have concluded that Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick is unlikely to substantially lessen competition” in the online advertising space, the commissioners wrote in their majority statement.

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