Various reports in the blogosphere have reported that the highly scrutinized deal between Google (GOOG) and DoubleClick has finally been completed as the FTC has "cleared" the path for Google's planned acquisition of DoubleClick Inc. We originally posted the story of Google's planned purchase of DoubleClick back in April, for an estimated $3.1 billion. In fact the story was so big that it made the top 3 of our year end Top Search Stories of 2007.
According to the FTC, after an eight month investigation it was decided that the proposed acquisition is “Unlikely to Substantially Lessen Competition”. The FTC report goes on to say:
Although interested parties have raised concerns about the proposed acquisition’s impact on consumer privacy, the Commission observed that such issues are “not unique to Google and DoubleClick,” and “extend to the entire online advertising marketplace.” The Commissioners further wrote that “as the sole purpose of federal antitrust review of mergers and acquisitions is to identify and remedy transactions that harm competition,” the FTC lacks the legal authority to block the transaction on grounds, or require conditions to this transaction, that do not relate to antitrust. Adding, however, that it takes consumer privacy issues very seriously, the Commission cross-referenced its release of a set of proposed behavioral marketing principles that were also announced today.
According to the evidence presented,
because the evidence failed to show that DoubleClick has market power in the third party ad serving markets, it is unlikely that Google could effectively foreclose competition in the related ad intermediation market following the acquisition. The evidence also showed that it was unlikely that Google could manipulate DoubleClick’s third-party ad serving products in a way that would competitively disadvantage Google’s competitors in the ad intermediation market.
Christmas has come early for Google this year.
Labels: Google DoubleClick Deal