September 27, 2007 3:31 PM PDT

On Capitol Hill, Google and Microsoft spar over DoubleClick

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Smith, who admitted at the start that his company was not exactly a disinterested party, also endured some questioning about Microsoft's practices. Hatch asked him what the company plans to do with the data it will have access to through its purchase of Aquantive, and the Utah senator also questioned why Microsoft was so concerned about Google's buy, given its similarities to the Aquantive deal.

"What is the antitrust problem?" Hatch asked Smith. "Why not just (create) a better product? Have you not just purchased a DoubleClick competitor?"

Smith said: "If we believed this was a market where better technology or better value by itself could carry the day, I wouldn't have come here today. But that's not the market we're dealing with."

The only other senator to show up at the hearing was Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). In a roughly five-minute appearance, he said he had met personally with Google CEO Eric Schmidt and asked for his commitment that the post-merger company would protect privacy. Before exiting the hearing room, Schumer said he was encouraged by a follow-up letter from Schmidt outlining the steps Google plans to take in the privacy realm--and by Schmidt's assertions that the number of New York-based jobs would grow following the merger.

Google's representations about its plans to protect privacy still raise numerous questions and demand more details, Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told the politicians.

The FTC needs to set in a legally binding format "enforceable privacy standards to make sure information being collected is not being misused," Rotenberg said. "Google has said in various ways it shares that goal and is prepared to do that...this is a unique opportunity to get this in writing."

EPIC and two other consumer advocacy groups have filed a joint complaint with the FTC, arguing that Google hasn't been forthcoming enough about its post-merger data collection and storage plans and requesting a public privacy plan.

Both Kohl and Hatch said it's important to assess the potential privacy implications of the Google-DoubleClick transaction and indicated plans to continue examining the issue.

The congressional audience could end up playing a role in whether the deal is cleared if the subcommittee ultimately issues any formal recommendations to the FTC or Justice Department about where to come out on their reviews. But Kohl said he hadn't yet decided whether the committee will take that step, as it's still in the information-gathering stage.

Before Kohl adjourned Thursday's hearing, he remarked, "I'm sure there will be additional rounds before this heavyweight fight is settled."

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11 comments

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Pot...Kettle...
When is MS going to learn that it can't keep the sand all to itself in the sandbox????
Posted by `WarpKat (275 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ditto
How Microsoft can accuse another company of antitrust violations with a straight face is totally beyond me.
Posted by FreddieT (58 comments )
Link Flag
It doesn't matter
who owns DoubleSpam. I'll still block it.
Posted by dvthex (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
gsmith@caswellsmith.com
For the senators trying to judge the antitrust issues: Doubleclick and Google are indeed direct competitors. Doubleclick resells ad space on web-sites, Google resells ad space on web-sites (Adwords). Corporate advertisers seeking to advertise on the web buy banners and access to Doubleclick's network. Corporate advertisers seeking to advertise on the search engine and content sites buy banners and access to Google's network.
The article states that - Drummond (CEO general counsel) stated that "He said that's primarily because DoubleClick is not in the business of buying and selling ads--rather, it simply provides the tools for displaying them."
Doubleclick's website reads: Coordinates targeted Internet advertising campaigns for advertisers, and provides ad management services, software, and sales for publishers. BTW, this is business of buying and selling ads.
That being said, I do not necessarily believe that this purchase changes Google already dominant position. They already have a monopoly on the small business ad spend. Sounds like the two parties are trying to use analogies that are only confusing the decision makers. Google has been raising its keyword prices and until Microsoft or another firm steps up with a simple search product, will continue to do so. gsmith@caswellsmith.com. Caswellsmith.com is a strategy consulting firm with a new media practice.
Posted by glsmith110 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What did Google and MIcrosoft Expect to Happen Yesterday?
I often wonder if those two Giant Geek companies have come to
the realization yet that a bunch of Senators with a sub-ability to
handle things like Net Neutrality because of a lack of knowledge
would propose to aid in such a debate.

Honestly Microsoft, you run the frickn' OS world. Google, you
run the online world. So with the said, it seems as though this
acquisition of Double Click would only complement Googles
already large presence on the internet.

The truth behind that matter is that in less than five years
companies will start embracing the online powers of Google to
replace that of the "security hole laden" software titles provided
by Microsoft. If anything, Google offers the net users a new level
of security for there information. Security that is constantly
upgraded to better serve that people.

As an IT Consultant that has utilized Googles powers to the
fullest, I would ensure you that the public information is more
secure hanging with Google than with our own Government!

So with the above said the conclusion to this is that Microsoft
will slowly lose ground to Thin Clients utilizing the web for an
OS rather than Windows. This in turn over time would warrant
Windows obsolete.

FYI - It's only advertising!

Justin
Tech01.net
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You should be ashamed...
As a so-called "IT Consultant" -- where did you get your degree or IT security education -- a crackerjack box - along with the secret decoder ring?

Google AND your government are the biggest threats to security and privacy in the world today.

Do everyone a favor and do some study and research before you make idiotic comments about how secure Google is.

Please DO upload all of your personal documents and files to Google Documents -- they will be happily indexed and kept forever -- just in case the government EVER in the future decides to do some checking up on you.

As part of your research, try this link: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://docs.google.com/File?id=dchrr3kn_5cdc9q3dc" target="_newWindow">http://docs.google.com/File?id=dchrr3kn_5cdc9q3dc</a> -- it shows an image uploaded as part of a Google document that was supposed to be PRIVATE and never accessible to the public at all. After the document was supposedly deleted, and the trash emptied -- the graphic still remains -- and not only that, is COMPLETELY open to the public.

Yes, Mr. IT Consultant -- tell your clients to use Google's services if you want -- but let's hope that your lawyers are better than theirs when confidential information starts turning up in public thanks to your recommendations.
Posted by milette (13 comments )
Link Flag
A Decision--From These Cowards???
You expect anyone in Congress to make a <i>decision</i> about something? They can't even agree on how to end the most destructive, illegal, misguided and costly war of our generation--something that 70% of the voting public has already agreed upon. Larry Craig can't even decide whether or not he's guilty (or homosexual). Why would you expect Congress to take a stand on a corporate takeover or net neutrality or universal health care?

The only thing these dopes can agree on is to condemn an organization of three million members for using its consitutional right to run a newspaper ad. As I mention <a href="http://dailyrevolution.net/?p=714">here</a>, maybe it's time that <i>we</i> wrote some acts of condemnation ourselves--on Congress.
Posted by bdonohue1 (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Google a monopoly? What a joke THAT is
and especially coming form MS who for the past 20 years has destroyed the marketplace through monpolistic practices, just about raped the IT industry of trillions in the process, squeeezed that trillions into about 100 billion or so and put it in the pocket of Gates, all through monopolistic practices.

Come on. MS isn't a monopoly but Google is just because no one gives a rat's behind about any of MS's long string of failed online-ad revenue initiatives and failed attempts at search. MS could compete, if it had the competence. Whos' fault is THAT?

Give me a break.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What is the difference between Google & Microsoft?
What is the difference between Google &#38; Microsoft?
Nothing, except their stock symbols. They both stand for information control and making as much profit as possible, which means at our expenses.

Switch to AnooX search engine which stands for information openness since Anoox search results are powered by YOU and me And Anoox is also not-profit-motivated. OTN, they are giving 50% of their profit away for support of Universal health care and 50% to what we suggest.
In case, you can check out anoox at: www.anoox.com
and see everything I said above to be the facts.

Simply put, Google, Yahoo &#38; MS are search engines for the benefit of Wall street, Anoox is a search engine for the benefit of the main street,
Go Go Anoox :)
Posted by Info_Max (52 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft is whining...
Microsoft should stop whine about this. They only trying to shoulder them selves into the add market. I bet they would have wanted to by DoubleClick but missed the opportunity. Microsoft don't think care about the "consumer interest" they are only interested to make money as everybody else so there is nothing else to this then Microsoft trying to block Google from making more money.
Posted by Karl Viklund (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The DoubleClick Deal should be blocked
Google is party to a separate investigation where they have wrongfully and unethically utilized their Natural Monopoly in Search to damage US and Foreign Persons as well as engage in anti-competetive business practices.

In no way should this transaction be allowed.

The transaction will of course close and subsequently an action will apear in international court regarding the Global Scope of Google's malfeasance and lack of good corporate governance. Its effect on the International Community and endangering foreign families through Privacy and Intellectual Property Violations.

Google may win the battle but its inability to more rapidly accept wrongdoing and settle disputes will loose it the war.

Ultimately the merger with Double Click dooms both companies in the Global Internet Marketplace as the high risk posed by Google to Global Peoples will result in circumventing technologies and foreign blockade of the Google Internet brand.

Google is the worlds most dangerous company.

Sincerely,


James Reginald Harris, Jr.
Posted by gurfrip (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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