Facebook is understood to be conducting due diligence with a view to potentially acquiring Microsoft’s Atlas Solutions ad-serving platform.
Such a move would enable Facebook to move into the online advertising space currently dominated by Google’s DoubleClick platform.
Microsoft acquired Atlas in 2007 as part of its acquisition of aQuantive for US$6bn.
In July, Microsoft conceded that it had to write down US$6.2bn on its acquisition of aQuantive.
Acquiring Atlas would be a major step in a different direction for Facebook, which concentrates largely on facilitating online advertising within its own ecosystem and via routes such as sponsored posts within its news feed.
It would bring it more directly in competition with Google and herald Facebook’s arrival in the display ads space.