June 29, 2015 Last Updated 12:05 pm

AOL and Microsoft sign deal: AOL to handle ad space, will use Bing as default search engine on Jan. 1

Uber does deal with Microsoft for its Bing mapping assets, as around 100 Microsoft engineers will now join the international transportation network company

With much of the news media’s attention on Greece and the Supreme Court, and tech media awaiting the launch of Apple Music, the news dropped today by AOL and Microsoft probably won’t get much attention – but they’ve just signed a major deal.

The deal gives AOL control over Microsoft ad real estate, with the now Verizon owned company managing sales for Microsoft’s display, mobile and video advertising inventory. Meanwhile, AOL will begin using Bing as its default search engine beginning at the start of next year.


But that is not the only deal involving Microsoft today: Uber will <strong>acquire Microsoft’s Bing mapping assets, involving around 100 employees. Neither company had anything to say publicly about the deal, but one would guess that this is an acquihire deal for Uber, along with getting certain mapping assets, and for Microsoft, its an effort to trim back on things they do not consider essential. According to a Bloomberg report the moves will mean 1,200 less positions at Microsoft, though some will be picked up by AOL.)

The AOL side of the deal is all about adding advertising real estate, something the company has been pursuing since its ill-fated local news effort, Patch. That didn’t work out because the costs were too high versus the audience gained.

Here is AOL announcement for their Microsoft deal:

NEW YORK, NY – June 30, 2015 — AOL Inc. and Microsoft today announced a global, enterprise-level partnership where AOL will assume management and sales responsibility for all of Microsoft’s display, mobile and video advertising inventory in nine key global markets — the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan. AOL will represent inventory from across Microsoft’s suite of leading online brands, including MSN Homepage and verticals, Outlook Mail, Xbox, Skype and ads in apps.

AOL-logo-featureAOL’s success has been driven by its strength and leadership in unleashing both sides of the marketing “barbell” – premium consumer experiences driven by sophisticated programmatic platforms. The April launch of ONE by AOL, the first cross-screen programmatic advertising platform with integrated multi-touch attribution optimizing campaigns from Web to TV, positioned the company to take on additional demand and inventory pools with the goal of driving superior outcomes for publishers and advertisers.

The expanded partnership with Microsoft builds on that momentum and meaningfully expands AOL’s global footprint, while simplifying the ecosystem for advertisers. The arrangement will improve ad campaign efficiency and effectiveness through the delivery of scaled premium inventory across display, video and mobile, and enables marketers to deeply target premium audiences globally in key verticals, including autos, entertainment, health & fitness, lifestyle, money, news, sports, travel, and weather.

The partnership includes a new 10-year global search and search advertising agreement between AOL and Microsoft that leverages Microsoft’s exceptional search capabilities to deliver innovative search solutions for consumers, advertisers and partners. Both companies will enable AOL users to access a world-class search experience across all screens. AOL will transition to a Bing-powered search solution beginning January 1, 2016.

Commenting on the partnership, AOL President, Bob Lord said, “We have enjoyed a terrific relationship with Microsoft, and this expanded partnership is a win for both companies and our advertiser partners as our industry continues to rapidly transform and evolve. This collaboration further validates our leadership position in digital advertising and the shift to automation, while also allowing Microsoft to focus on what they do best: industry leading services and search innovation.”

“This deal is further evidence of the quality of Bing results and the performance of the Bing Ads marketplace,” said Rik van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft. “And we will continue our focus on delivering world class consumer services and content and look forward to partnering with AOL to market them.”

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