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Microsoft partners with Pasadena's OpenX to share online advertising technology

November 2, 2009 |  9:21 am

Openx Microsoft Corp. and OpenX Technologies Inc., a Pasadena-based Web advertising firm, have brokered a deal to mutually promote their ad-selling technologies and share customers.

Under the deal, OpenX will offer some of Microsoft's online advertising products to its own customer base of more than 150,000 websites, which collectively serve 300 billion ads per month.  Microsoft will also refer individual business customers to OpenX, which designs custom advertising products for paying clients.

Most of the software offered by 3-year-old OpenX is based on open source technology and has become an attractive option to smaller websites, which can install the OpenX advertising platform for free and begin to make revenue from selling ad space.

Microsoft Microsoft touted the partnership as an early step into a more diverse and flexible online advertising market.

"Partnering with OpenX for us is emblematic of a desire to accelerate an open ecosystem," said Maggie Finch, manager of Microsoft's business publishing group.  "We want to provide multiple choices and options for publishers of all sizes."

OpenX's technologies allow website owners to efficiently find advertising targeted to their readers. The company's competitors include Google's DoubleClick and Microsoft's aQuantive division, now called Microsoft Advertising.

The companies did not disclose the specific financial terms of the multi-year deal, stressing that it was primarily a way to cross-promote advertising products. Microsoft, however, said there would be no revenue shared as part of the agreement.

"It's the beginning of a partnership," said OpenX chief executive Tim Cadogan, a former advertising executive at Yahoo Inc., with which Microsoft signed a major search advertising deal earlier this year.  "I think it's a good legitimization of what we're doing and hopefully kicks us up to another level in terms of industry awareness."

Corrected, 3:00 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said the OpenX plaftorm served 3 billion ads per month.  The actual number is 300 billion.

-- David Sarno

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