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msn.ca = the canadian site, although if it doesn't say Sympatico MSN, then it's redirecting to the US results.
Secondly, Overture IS serving ads through MSN because of their legally binding contract (Think it runs out within the month/next month ((Don't quote me on that))). However, they are not serving in the United States. (So yes, Canada gets overture ads, U.S. does not).
MSN uses your IP to redirect you to the search site you "should" be using.
Ex. If you are in canada, go to msn.com and make a search, the results will be in MSN Search - Sympatico (the canadian server).
you also need to take into account which region you're targeting your ads to. you can target any country, but how you and your end-users see your ads depends on whether or not adCenter has launched in that country. if you're in a country where adCenter hasn't launched (which is everywhere except France, Singapore and the U.S.), if you do a search on MSN Search, because of your IP, you'll be re-directed to the MSN Search for your country, i.e. [search.msn.co.uk...] - and you won't see adCenter ads. if you're in, say, Canada and you search on [search.msn.com...] (the U.S. search) instead of [search.sympatico.msn.ca...] you should be able to see your ads. likewise if you live in Canada but you're targeting the U.S., the only way you'll be able to see your ads is through a proxy server.
i want to clarify something about your 2nd post Draconian:
http://adcenter.search.msn.com/ - (Won't cost you false clicks/impressions)
if you click on ads in the results on this site, actually they will count. this site is a holdover from the days when part of our traffic was from Yahoo, so if an advertiser was seeing Yahoo results they could use this URL to see their adCenter ads.
one last thing - advertisers not being able to see their ads from their locale is one of the top issues we hear about, and the development team has a feature request on their list to come up with a way for you to see your ads no matter where you're located. i just wanted to let you all know that we're working on it.
have a good weekend everyone!