Microsoft buys AdECN, a Web ad market

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REDMOND, Wash. -- Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it has acquired AdECN, a self-described stock market for buyers and sellers of Web advertising, marking Microsoft's latest push into a sector led by rivals Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.

Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft's platforms and services division, told attendees at Microsoft's annual analyst meeting that it had acquired privately held AdECN.

Terms were not disclosed.

AdECN, which first launched its services in October 2005, functions like a Nasdaq stock exchange for advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising. It is based in Santa Barbara, California.

AdECN customers buy "seats" on the exchange, akin to buying seats on the New York Stock Exchange. The cost of the seats vary according to a member's projected volume and the quality of its traffic, according to the company's Web site.
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