Microsoft buys Xandr and positions for a post-cookie work

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 6 January 2022
Credit: Sara Sperry via Unsplash

Software giant Microsoft is buying programmatic advertising marketplace Xandr from telco AT&T, a move aimed at carving a bigger slice of digital advertising in a post-cookie world.

Commercial details of the sale haven’t been revealed but reports suggest a price of $US1 billion.

Xandr had been within AT&T’s WarnerMedia which is now being split off and merged with Discovery.

AT&T created Xandr in 2018 by consolidating ts advertising businesses, including AppNexus.

Analysts see the move as giving Microsoft a stronger market presence against the major players in digital advertising, Google and Facebook.

Microsoft says it will combine its own audience understanding, technology and global advertising customer base with Xandr’s data-driven platform.

Mikhail Parakhin, president of web experiences at Microsoft: “With Xandr’s talent and technology, Microsoft can accelerate the delivery of its digital advertising and retail media solutions, shaping tomorrow’s digital ad marketplace into one that respects consumer privacy preferences, understands publishers’ relationships with consumers and helps advertisers meet their goals.

Microsoft says the deal will mean:

  • Improved activation and advertising results with Xandr’s cross-screen, first-party data-centred buying platform, Xandr Invest
  • Strengthened monetization for publishers through larger first-party data access and a full funnel marketing offering with Xandr Monetize, which includes a leading video solution, empowering content and media owners to unlock the full value of their inventory
  • Increased advertiser and publisher value with Microsoft’s global native ad buying solution, the Microsoft Audience Network, by helping improve ad performance while providing access to global supply

AT&T says the agreement builds on a decade-long relationship between Xandr, including its predecessor companies, and Microsoft for global digital media solutions for advertisers.

AT&T: “As the digital landscape evolves in a post-cookie world, Microsoft and Xandr can shape the digital ad marketplace of the future.

“Xandr’s technology strategically complements Microsoft’s current advertising offerings and will help accelerate delivery of digital advertising and retail media solutions for the open web by combining Microsoft’s audience intelligence, technology and global advertising customer-base with Xandr’s scaled, data-driven platform.

Xandr’s EVP and GM Mike Welch: “Microsoft’s shared vision of empowering a free and open web and championing an open industry alternative via a global advertising marketplace makes it a great fit for Xandr.

“We look forward to using our innovative platform to help accelerate Microsoft’s digital advertising and retail media capabilities."


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