Thursday, December 20, 2007

No Double Take on DoubleClick

The merger between Google and DoubleClick cleared a major regulatory hurdle Thursday when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted not to block the acquisition.

In a four to one vote, the commission ruled that the merger "is unlikely to substantially lessen competition" in the online advertising market.

Google announced in April that it would purchase online ad provider DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in cash. The FTC opened an antitrust review of the deal in May.

Critics of the merger are worried about the vast amount of data to which Google will have access should the DoubleClick deal be approved. The search engine stores information on user queries, IP addresses and cookie details for approximately 18 to 24 months. With the addition of DoubleClick, Google will potentially have access to information about the activity of users across hundreds of Web sites.

The FTC did not see this as problematic. "The customer and competitor information that DoubleClick collects currently belongs to publishers, not DoubleClick," according to the ruling. "Restrictions in DoubleClick's contracts with its customers, which those customers insisted on, protect that information from disclosure, and we understand that Google has committed to the sanctity of those contracts."

>>>Gimme More!

No comments: