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Publicis Close to Buying Razorfish: Report

The French advertising company could agree to buy Microsoft's digital advertising agency by early next week, a report says.



) --


is close to buying Razorfish,


(MSFT) - Get Report

digital advertising agency, and could agree to final terms by early next week, the

Financial Times

reports, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

The French advertising company has taken the lead in a contest with


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, the Japanese advertising group that owns 15% of Publicis, the newspaper reports. Publicis and Microsoft entered a final round of talks this week, says one person familiar with the discussions.

The Publicis bid, expected to value Razorfish at about $600 million, is slightly below the price offered by Dentsu. Publicis, which owns the Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi agencies, also has offered to place advertising valued at hundreds of millions of dollars across Microsoft's digital properties in the coming years, the

Financial Times



Wall Street Journal

reports Publicis's bid for Razorfish is between $500 million and $600 million, and Dentsu has made a higher offer.

Microsoft took control of Razorfish when it acquired aQuantive in 2007.

Publicis and Microsoft wouldn't comment for the

Financial Times


-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York