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Microsoft to take $6.2 billion charge following failed aQuantive acquisition

Microsoft on Monday announced that the company’s online services division will take a $6.2 billion charge related to its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive. “Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will take a non-cash, non-tax-deductible income statement charge for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012 for the impairment of goodwill in its Online Services Division segment, mostly related to its 2007 aQuantive, Inc., acquisition,” the company said in a press release. It continued, “Microsoft completed its acquisition of aQuantive on Aug. 13, 2007, in an all-cash transaction valued at just over $6.3 billion. 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.” Microsoft’s full press release follows below.

Microsoft Announces Non-Cash Accounting Charge

Company will take a write down in its Online Services Division goodwill.

REDMOND, Wash., July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will take a non-cash, non-tax-deductible income statement charge for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012 for the impairment of goodwill in its Online Services Division segment, mostly related to its 2007 aQuantive, Inc., acquisition.

Under accounting guidelines, companies are required to conduct an annual goodwill impairment test for each business unit. Goodwill arises in an acquisition when the fair value paid for a business exceeds the value of the identifiable net assets. The goodwill in the Online Services Division was substantially the result of the 2007 acquisition of aQuantive. As a result of its 2012 impairment review, Microsoft has determined that a write down of its Online Services Division goodwill of approximately $6.2 billion is required.

Bing search share in the U.S. has been increasing, revenue per search (RPS) has been growing, MSN is the No. 1 portal in 29 markets worldwide and the company’s partnership with Yahoo! has continued to expand geographically. While the Online Services Division business has been improving, the company’s expectations for future growth and profitability are lower than previous estimates.

Microsoft completed its acquisition of aQuantive on Aug. 13, 2007, in an all-cash transaction valued at just over $6.3 billion. 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.

Microsoft does not expect this accounting write down to affect its ongoing business or financial performance.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.