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Microsoft Acquires Equity Stake in Facebook

Microsoft acquired a $240 million equity stake in social networking site Facebook, effectively valuing the site at $15 billion. Under terms of the deal, Microsoft will become the exclusive third-party ad-platform partner for Facebook, expanding upon a deal between the companies established last year.

“We are pleased to take our Microsoft partnership to the next level,” Facebook chief revenue officer Owen Van Natta said in a statement announcing the deal. “This relationship will allow Facebook to continue to innovate and grow as a technology company, as well as bring relevant advertising to Facebook’s nearly 50 million active users.”

The deal gives Microsoft a 1.6% stake in the social-networking site, smaller than the 5%-10% analysts predicted would be acquired. The $15 billion evaluation, however, is more than the $10 billion number floated before the deal was finalized.

Google was also known to be interested in acquiring equity in the company.