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Microsoft drops display ad, map making business

People visit the Microsoft booth during the 2015 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei, Taiwan, June 2, 2015.

Reuters/Pichi Chuang

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Monday it will hand over its display advertising business to AOL Inc and AppNexus Inc, and sell some map-generating technology to ride-hailing app company Uber, as it slims down its money-losing online operations.

The moves mean Microsoft will focus on its growing search advertising business based on its Bing search engine, and displaying maps on its Windows devices rather than generating map data.

Microsoft did not say how many jobs would be lost as a result of the actions. Bloomberg reported that the disposal of the display ad business would affect 1,200 jobs.

Microsoft no longer breaks out results for its online operations, chiefly its MSN web portal and Bing, but they have lost more than $10 billion over the past five years. Chief Executive Satya Nadella has said Bing will turn a profit next fiscal year.

“Today’s news is evidence of Microsoft’s increased focus on our strengths: in this case, search and search advertising and building great content and consumer services,” said Microsoft in a statement.

AOL is a unit of Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N).

(Reporting By Lehar Maan in Bengaluru and Bill Rigby in Seattle; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Steve Orlofsky)

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