Microsoft is reportedly eyeing yet another acquisition, but this buyout may prove to be a lot more controversial. Redmond is in talks to buy Claria, the company that is behind the adware program Gator, which has been criticized for its actions in serving unwanted pop-ups and tracking Web usage.
Hello, people ! Time to wake up !
“According to press reports, the most recent offer by Microsoft was $500 million; however, the negotiations may break off before a deal can be made. There are fears that such a deal may send the wrong message to consumers, as Microsoft’s own anti-spyware program detects Claria software as “high risk” and recommends deletion.”
“However, others at Microsoft see the acquisition as a way to clean up the adware industry by taking out one of its biggest offenders and using the technology in more acceptable ways.”
Read more on [BetaNews] about this
C|Net reported about Claria on february 14th :
Claria “[...] is launching a new marketing division and advertising service to migrate from hawking its signature pop-up advertisements to selling behaviorally targeted display ads. If it has its way, the ads will appear on publisher pages across the Web, reaching as many as 200 million people. To address the privacy implications of such an ambitious service, Claria has also hired a team of experts to ensure it meets industry and consumer clearances. Claria plans to announce partners and introduce the service, called BehaviorLink, in April.”
[...] Quoting [myself on May 6th] :
“So you’re only being submitted to behavioral advertisement if you’re using some sort of software (often freeware) that has ties with GAIN.
Still, that market is estimated on 40 million users and BehaviorLink has set its target to expand the market to 200 million users by engaging in partnerships with as many small software and tool providers as possible.”
If Microsoft plays this card right, MSN might have some serious competition up its sleeve with a technology that can easily compete with the Adsense programs that are running on Google or Yahoo.
Microsoft has, if the takeover’s for real, A LOT of consumer information too, since Claria, previously known as Gator, specializes in collecting this.
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