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Facebook may be turning to its longtime pal Microsoft to complete its plan to create an external advertising network. Reports peg the social network as expressing serious interest in acquiring Microsoft’s Atlas Solutions.

Atlas Solutions is an ad platform that Microsoft picked up in 2007 as part of its acquisition of aQuantive for $6 billion. Microsoft is looking to offload the property, and Facebook appears to be the leading candidate for it, according to multiple sources cited in separate reports from AllThingsD and Business Insider.

When reached for comment, a spokesperson said Facebook doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.

Should Facebook get its hands on the ad-serving technology, the social network would be in a prime position to release an external ad network, as has been rumored, to serve its ads on third-party properties. The development would certainly bolster Facebook’s appeal to ad buyers wanting to connect their display units to Facebook’s expansive people database. It would also make Facebook a more threatening challenger to Google.

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