Microsoft is to group its online ad sales unit with its nascent search engine operations as it restructures internet division MSN.

The software giant is splitting MSN into two units: communications and information services.

Its online ad sales operations, which generate around $1 billion (€0.9bn; £0.6bn) in revenues a year, will become part of information services. Also in this group will be search engines – which Microsoft is developing to take on Google and Yahoo! – entertainment and broadband services. In charge will be Yusuf Mehdi.

The communications arm will look after Hotmail, the Messenger service and dial-up access. The changes will be implemented by the end of the year.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff