Microsoft will take a non-cash, non-tax-deductible income statement charge for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012 for the impairment of goodwill in its Online Services Division segment, mostly related to its 2007 aQuantive acquisition. As a result of its 2012 impairment review, Microsoft has determined that a write down of its Online Services Division goodwill of approximately $6.2 billion is required.
Under accounting guidelines, companies are required to conduct an annual goodwill impairment test for each business unit. Goodwill arises in an acquisition when the fair value paid for a business exceeds the value of the identifiable net assets. The goodwill in Microsoft’s Online Services Division was substantially the result of the 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, says the company. While the Online Services Division business has been improving, the company’s expectations for future growth and profitability are lower than previous estimates.
Microsoft completed its acquisition of aQuantive on Aug. 13, 2007, in an all-cash transaction valued at just over $6.3 billion. While the aQuantive acquisition continues to provide tools for Microsoft’s online advertising efforts, the acquisition did not accelerate growth to the degree anticipated, contributing to the write down.
Microsoft does not expect this accounting write down to affect its ongoing business or financial performance.
[Image Courtesy: Microsoft]