This morning's announcement that Microsoft would buy Aquantive at a staggering premium has a lot of people wondering whether the deal might be some sign of a bubble. By almost any metric, the deal was very rich, which leads to some serious questions about whether Microsoft can get a good return on its investment. Everyone guessed that Microsoft still wanted to do a deal following its failure to win DoubleClick, but as Felix Salmon cleverly points out, the one silver lining for Microsoft after losing DoubleClick was that Google ended up being saddled with the enormous bill. Now it's Microsoft's turn to suffer the "winner's curse". To put it into a bit more perspective, it's this will be the company's biggest acquisition of all time, which is good evidence that the company desperately wants to diversify away from simply being a software company. Of course, with as much cash as the company has in its accounts, it can afford to make a few desperate moves.
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