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Microsoft lands Facebook ad deal

Software maker will provide search and advertising listings to the social-networking site's 9 million users.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
Microsoft failed to sign MySpace to an advertising deal, so the software giant went out and landed Facebook, the second-largest social networking site.

Late Tuesday evening, Microsoft announced that Facebook had agreed to allow the software company to provide search and advertising listings to Facebook's 9 million users. The Wall Street Journal reported that the arrangement was for three years.

There are indications that the deal was an attempt by Microsoft to quickly rebound after watching Google walk away with the exclusive rights to provide advertising to MySpace's 100 million registered users earlier this month. Microsoft said in a statement that talks between it and Facebook started only last week.

Microsoft is trying to make up ground on Google in the area of search. When it comes to cutting exclusive deals with social-networking sites, one of the Web's fastest growing sectors, the first round goes to Google, which agreed to pay MySpace's parent company, News Corp., $900 million over more than three years as part of the arrangement. Microsoft did not disclose financial terms of its agreement with Facebook.

Microsoft will post banner advertising and sponsored links that should appear on Facebook in the fall the companies said.

"We're excited to be innovating with Microsoft to build a world-class advertising solution that allows Facebook to deliver the best advertising experience in social media," Owen Van Natta, chief operating officer of Facebook, said in a statement.