Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)  is expected to announce a deal to acquire Microsoft’s Atlas ad-serving business  possibly by next week, according to a report by Ad Age.

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The price of the deal is expected to be less than $100 million, based on previous bids ranging from $30 million to $50 million; however, spokespersons for both companies declined to comment.

Microsoft’s Atlas Solutions is an ad-serving product that helps advertisers buy and manage ads.  According to the report, the social networking giant is interested in Microsoft’s Atlas ad serving product as a way of helping advertisers and agencies link together directly to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The company believes the service will help advertisers and agencies better measure the effectiveness of their ad-campaigns.

The social networking giant is also laying the groundwork for an off-Facebook ad network powered by social data.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) believes this deal could also help the social networking giant in opening up its data to advertisers in a more controlled way, without exposing it too much to the intermediaries.

Adage writes that it broke the news in October about Microsoft being in talks to sell out Atlas in the market. App Nexus and Mediaocean were expected to be other possible suitors for the deal. These companies eventually dropped out of the list as the social networking giant came forward with the highest bid.

In past, Atlas ad product served big brands including AT&T but the business started to lose its share in recent years as customers began to move to industry rivals.

If this deal goes through, it would be just the latest in a string of major announcements in the online advertising industry