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Microsoft said to be in talks to buy Claria

For the last two weeks, Microsoft has been in talks to buy a private Silicon Valley company, a move that underscores just how eager Microsoft is to catch up with Google, the search and advertising giant.

The company that Microsoft has pursued is controversial: Claria, an adware marketer formerly called Gator, and best known for its pop-up ads and software that tracks people visiting Web sites. The Gator adware has frequently been denounced by privacy advocates for its intrusiveness.

The offer price on the table as recently as Wednesday was $500 million, according to people who have been briefed on the talks. But a person close to Microsoft said last night that the negotiations were on the verge of breaking off. One person briefed on the deal said there was opposition within Microsoft to the acquisition.

News source: C|Net News.com

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