Kara Swisher provides the context:
1. Spending by big advertisers online lags well behind what many call audience engagement. In other words, time spent on the Web has obviously been growing and taking share away from traditional media.
2. The time to act, then, is now, to lock up any and all available assets in this space, especially ones that give the buyer a big market share and critical mass. The three biggest online ad players, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, have snapped up the three biggest independent online ad agencies.
3. As more ad spending shifts online, the ability to have expertise and to innovate quickly will become critical. What all these companies are buyingbesides stronger relationships with advertising clientsare people and experience.
4. Most of all, there was no way Microsoft was not going to answer Google after it bought DoubleClick, especially if it wants (and it does) to stay competitive with the search giant in the online ad market.