April 15, 2007 3:55 PM PDT

Companies want scrutiny of Google-DoubleClick deal

Several companies, including Yahoo, AT&T and Microsoft, are encouraging regulators to take a close look at Google's planned purchase of online-ad company DoubleClick.

Although the companies have yet to file any formal objections with regulators in the U.S. or Europe, they are beginning to publicly voice their concerns, according to a source close to one of the companies.

If the deal goes through, Google would account for 80 percent of the ads served on the Internet, the source said.

Google announced its plans to acquire DoubleClick for $3.1 billion on Friday. Microsoft had also been in the running to acquire DoubleClick.

In a statement on Sunday, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith called for regulators to give the deal a hard look.

"This proposed acquisition raises serious competition and privacy concerns in that it gives the Google-DoubleClick combination unprecedented control in the delivery of online advertising and access to a huge amount of consumer information by tracking what customers do online," Smith said. "We think this merger deserves close scrutiny from regulatory authorities to ensure a competitive online-advertising market."

Google could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday. A Yahoo representative declined to comment.

Google plans to buy DoubleClick from San Francisco-based private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which acquired DoubleClick two years ago for $1.1 billion, and JMI Equity. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development at Google, said he is confident that antitrust regulators will approve the agreement.

See more CNET content tagged:
DoubleClick Inc., online advertising company, Brad Smith, online advertising, scrutiny


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They're Just Jealous
that they didn't get to them first..
Posted by a-k-a-l-l-e-n (12 comments )
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All those companies wanted DoubleClick... However, can Google really say that their motto is, "Don't be Evil" now?
Posted by ben::zen (127 comments )
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Shows Competitor's Weaknesses
If Google/DoubleClick account for 80% of the worlds ads, then Microsoft and Yahoo should be embarassed.

Posted by lonny paul (52 comments )
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More power to them.
I tend to agree. This is not a market where one company actually holds monopoly power (not like, say, on desktop operating systems and office software) and both MS and Yahoo had several years head start on Google but they've lost out. Mind you, doubleclick was already huge -- I wonder how much of that 80% already belongs to Google as opposed to doubleclick. Either way, if Google won the bid then more power to them. Even with 80% they won't have a monopoly because anyone anywhere is free to serve up their own ads and to provide that service to others the way all four of the companies mentioned here already do.
Posted by Freiheit13 (92 comments )
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If Microsoft had won the bidding the Tinfoil Hat Brigade would be out in force screaming about monopoly and threats to competition. But since it's Google, people cheer about it as if they were GOOG shareholders.

Posted by Betty Roper (121 comments )
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The usual double standard
The posts in this thread reveal the usual double standard about MS: when Microsoft has 80% of whatever market, it is a monopoly that should be stopped; when Google does the same in the online world, it is OK, because they are *very nice people*.
No guys, they are *the same kind of people*: people in the business of making money! Go get a clue...
Posted by aemarques (162 comments )
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