This column was originally published on RealMoney on May 18 at 1:40 p.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for readers. For more information about subscribing to RealMoney, please click here.

Sure, the



deal is nutty. Sure, it's an overpay. Sure, it makes


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look stupid.

But Microsoft needed to do something. It needed to shut everyone else out. What we don't know is how much

anyone else

was willing to pay. And we don't know how desperate Microsoft is to leapfrog on the Web, where it seems to fall behind by the day.

What's baffling, of course, is that aQuantive is a company that was just a simple roll-up of cats and dogs that no one wanted for a very long time. I can actually remember chatting with these companies when I started

and marveling how overvalued they were originally. Then they went to nothing.

Then they went to $6 billion.

(I think Anthony Noto at Goldman is right, that now Microsoft can buy



and own it all except for


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! If it can pay $6 billion for aQuantive, it will pay $50 billion for Yahoo!.)

I would love to tell you this is all nuts, but this ad space has gotten so unbelievably hot that I bet there was someone willing to pay $4 billion or $5 billion out there.

And Microsoft had cash.

No one laughed at Rupert Murdoch's $60 bid for

Dow Jones


. He needs to make something happen for

Fox Business


Microsoft needed to make something happen for MSN.

So it overpaid. Period, end of story.

Oh, and I am just glad we

nailed it!

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Goldman Sachs, Yahoo! and

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