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Video services

Microsoft Admits Digital Ad Defeat

Here's a glance at the goings-on in broadband today:

  • In an admission that its acquisition of online advertising specialist aQuantive didn't work out, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced Monday that it will write down $6.2 billion of what had been a $6.3 billion cash purchase. Microsoft bought aQuantive in 2007, a move that gave it a foothold in the U.S. cable sector via the digital ad firm's Atlas On Demand unit. (See Microsoft On Demand .)

    It was the company's biggest acquisition ever at the time, at least according to this ZDNet article. The $6.2 billion writedown is a non-cash deduction of goodwill from Microsoft's balance sheet. That doesn't mean aQuantive is dead -- its tools will still be part of Microsoft's online advertising operations -- but its growth fell short of Microsoft's plans, something that can be said for the Online Services Division in general.

  • Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH) has completed the sale of its Broadcast Services unit to Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), which is paying €19 million ($23.9 million) plus a potential additional fee of up to €9 million ($11.3 million) depending on the financial performance of the unit in 2015. About 900 Technicolor staff are joining Ericsson's Global Services division. (See Euronews: Ericsson to Buy Technicolor Service Biz.)

  • U.K. cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has launched free Wi-Fi services in 32 more London subway stations, reports Cable.co.uk. It launched the service in four main stations in early June.

  • MSOs in India are set to provide the country's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting with detailed digitization plans within the next few days as the government tries again to speed up the already delayed process, reports The Hindu Business Line. In the meantime, companies such as CSG Systems International Inc. (Nasdaq: CSGS) are priming themselves to help India's cable players with the shift to multiservice offerings.

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has released an HBO GO app that works on "almost all Android operating systems" (Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb, and most versions of Gingerbread) and screen sizes (3.5 inches to 11 inches). The latest app release for HBO's TV Everywhere service can be used by TW Cable, Bright House Networks and Insight Communications Co. Inc. video customers who also subscribe to the premium TV service.

    — The Staff, Light Reading

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