Facebook has bought Microsoft's Atlas Advertiser Suite to get more serious about ads.
The price tag was rumored to be $100 million, according to AllThingsD. However, that's little compared to Facebook's $4 billion ad business. Microsoft acquired Atlas from the $6.2 billion sales of aQuantive, which it's selling off piece by piece.
So why would Facebook buy Atlas? To beef up its internal business or build out its ad network? According to AllThingsD, it's likely both. The likely plan is that Facebook will use Atlas' data tracking to prove the value of its ads and then raise the prices, because Facebook's goal is to compete directly with Google. Once the price is similar, the social network will compete head-to-head with the search titan.
This sounds like a pretty long-range plan, and we think it's ambitious that Facebook's goal is to crush the seeming indestructible Google.