FACEBOOK is the focus of a heated bidding war between MICROSOFT and GOOGLE. The two companies are competing for less than 10% of the social networking site and a deal could be announced within the next 48 hours. Google is reportedly driving the price very high in an attempt to outbid Microsoft. The winning bidder may also find itself with a lucrative advertising deal for the site. In related news, Facebook is expected to unveil a major new targeted advertising initiative at a Nov. 6 press event.

NIELSEN will provide GOOGLE with audience measurement data for TV ads sold through its online auction. Google currently sells ads for 94 networks carried by DISH and obtains extensive set-top box data directly from EchoStar. This data will now be combined with Nielsen panel data to provide advertisers with comprehensive viewer demographics.

STEVE BALLMER said that MICROSOFT will not bid in the upcoming wireless spectrum auction. He said that Microsoft’s expertise is not in setting up wireless networks and that a bid on spectrum would not help the company sell mobile phone software to handset makers. Above all, he fears that bidding on spectrum would alienate the telecom industry. The auction is scheduled to begin on January 24, 2008.

LIMELIGHT NETWORKS has introduced LimelightHD, an online HD delivery service that will bring HD content to TVs, consoles, and computers. The service will be available immediately on over 700 broadband access networks and will be supported by Adobe, Microsoft, and others. Brightcove, Fox Interactive Media, and MSN Video have already committed to using the service, which delivers both 720p and 1080p resolution.

NEXT NEW NETWORKS has signed distribution deals with Joost, YouTube, TiVo, Blip.tv, Veoh and more. The outlets will offer new venues for the company’s niche content, such as filmmaker-focused Indy Mogul and the auto-specific Fast Lane Daily.

About Shelly Palmer

Named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Technology, Shelly Palmer is CEO of The Palmer Group, a strategy, design and engineering firm focused at the nexus of technology, media and marketing. He is Fox 5 New York's on-air tech and digital media expert, writes a weekly column for Adweek, and is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com or subscribe to our daily email http://ow.ly/WsHcb

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"MediaBytes 10.24.2007" by @ShellyPalmer

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