Microsoft in $6.2 billion writedown of Aquantive

  • Microsoft has written down the value of an online advertising firm it bought five years ago by $6.2 billion.

    Microsoft bought in an attempt to catch up with rival Google in the race to increase revenues from search-related advertising.

    The purchase of Aquantive in 2007 was Microsoft's biggest acquisition at the time.

    It has since been surpassed by the company's $8.5 billion purchase of web phone service Skype last year.

    The $6.2 billion charge is likely to wipe out any profit for the company's fourth quarter.