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Microsoft Sells Bing Imaging to Uber and Moves Display Ad Business to AOL

At the end of June 2015, Microsoft announced that they will be handing over their display advertising business to AOL Inc. and in addition, sell some of its map-generating technology to ride-hailing app company Uber. Uber will also gain about 100 employees from Microsoft that are focused on the product’s image collection activities. Those employees in the display ad business will be offered the chance to transfer to AOL and were promised they would not be laid off.

Microsoft’s goal is to focus on its growing search advertising business based on its Bing search engine, and displaying maps on its Windows devices rather than generating the maps themselves. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expects Bing to turn a profit this next fiscal year.

"Today’s news is evidence of Microsoft’s increased focus on our strengths: in this case, search and search advertising and building great content and consumer services,"

said Microsoft in a statement. Microsoft's Bing has grown to a 20 percent market share in the US. Adding AOL should further extend the reach of Bing and Bing Ads.

AOL is taking over Microsoft's display ad business, including mobile and video ads, in nine markets: Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, UK, and the United States. Ads sold will span both AOL's properties, such as Huffington Post and TechCrunch, and Microsoft's online presence, such as MSN and Outlook.com. Ad sales and technology in 10 additional markets (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland) will be handled by ad auction house AppNexus.

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