Microsoft purchased aQuantive, an online advertising service, back in 2007 for $6.3 billion, and since then, Microsoft's online department has reported $9 billion in losses. Now Microsoft is poised to take a one-time $6.2 billion charge to offset the lack of revenue from aQuantive.
The non-cash charge is most likely going to push Microsoft $1 billion into the red for their fourth fiscal quarter ending in June, assuming that the $5.3 billion in profits pre-charge are correct. We should expect Microsoft's quarterly results on July 19. At the time of the deal, it was the largest Microsoft had ever made, and until the $7 billion Skype acquisition, it still was.
Considering that at the time, in order to counter Microsoft's acquisition of aQuantive, Google scooped up aQuantive's competitor, DoubleClick the year after. DoubleClick earned Google $9.7 billion in the last twelve months on $38 billion in revenue, mostly from advertisements. Microsoft have said in a statement:
The aQuantive acquisition continues to provide tools for Microsofts online advertising efforts, the acquisition did not accelerate growth to the degree anticipated, contributing to the write down.