Microsoft to sell ads for CNBC.com

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SEATTLE -- Microsoft Corp. said Monday it will provide online advertising for CNBC's financial news Web site.

The software maker said it will be the exclusive third-party seller of contextually driven text ads on the site starting later in December, and display ads beginning in March 2008. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

Jon Tinter, a general manager at Microsoft, said the company plans to offer advertisers the option to buy ads on CNBC.com together with ads on Microsoft's own financial site, MSN Money.

CNBC.com, part of General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal division, gets about 2.6 million unique visitors each month, according to a company statement. Microsoft said it plans to aggregate information about CNBC.com visitors' Web surfing habits to better target advertising in the future.

CNBC will maintain its own ad sales team, which will focus on selling video ads online and on CNBC TV.

Microsoft has invested heavily in its advertising business this year, including the $6 billion acquisition of online advertising company aQuantive Inc., which closed in August.

Google Inc. remains the largest seller of online advertising.

Microsoft shares edged up 34 cents, just under 1%, to $34.87 in midday trading.
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