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Old 11-21-2007, 12:11 AM   #1
Czar

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Default Google / DoubleClick deal to go under "serious scrutiny"

Avid Geek/Talk readers will know that Google's attempt to acquire display advertising marketing leader DoubleClick has been under fire from many sides since the deal was announced. Of particular interest has been resistance put forth by Microsoft and Yahoo, but smaller players and industry groups have also claimed that a merger between two of the biggest players in online advertising would have severe consequences for competitors in the space.

US Senators have responded with extreme caution, stating:
Quote:
“While we have not reached any definitive conclusion regarding this issue, we urge that you only approve the merger if you determine that it will not cause any substantial lessening of competition with respect to Internet advertising,”
They backed this by elevating their official level of concern to one of "Serious Scrutiny", which sounds altogether mysterious.

What chances do you lads and lasses feel the deal has of being passed unconditionally? Will GoogleClick emerge the victor, or will competitors get their even playing field?
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Old 11-22-2007, 05:38 AM   #2
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My money is betting on the merger being approved but with certain conditions/limitations on future actions. I doubt they will be given an unconditional thumbs up as that would signal additional room for even greater expansion of their market share.
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:29 AM   #3
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Well, it looks as though Google received its Christmas gift this week.

The FTC just announced today that it would approve Google's $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick, despite public and private concerns about the deal. According to Reuters, the agreement was passed with a 4-1 vote by the FTC, but is still being scutinized by European antitrust officials.

I guess all eyes will be on GoogleClick in 2008.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:43 AM   #4
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As most people know, some competitors didn't want the deal to be approved. Here is a portion of the FTC statement that covers that:
Quote:
The markets within the online advertising space continue to quickly evolve, and predicting their future course is not a simple task...Because the evidence did not support the theories of potential competitive harm, there was no basis on which to seek to impose conditions on this merger.
Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman and CEO had these comments:
Quote:
The FTC's strong support sends a clear message: this acquisition poses no risk to competition and will benefit consumers. We hope that the European Commission will soon reach the same conclusion, and we are confident that this deal will deliver more relevant ads for consumers, more choices for advertisers, and more opportunities for website publishers.
Google said it cannot formally close its DoubleClick acquisition until it gets clearance from European regulators. European Union regulators said they would rule on the transaction by April 2, 2008. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approved the deal in October.

There are a lot more details. Here are some links with additional information:

http://www.news.com/FTC-allows-Googl...3-6223631.html

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/...ogy/dclick.php

http://www.networkworld.com/news/200...ubleclick.html

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...gCWySPzP11wECg
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:36 PM   #5
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Is there a governing body in Asia that must approve the merger as well, or does such a governing body not exist in that region?
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:07 PM   #6
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There's no single governing body that oversees al of Asia, and I'm not aware of how the large markets in the area are responding (apart from Australia, which approved the merger).

Interestingly, one of Microsoft's key objection documents has apparently been leaked to the press. It contains concerns not only about how this deal will give Google dominant control over contextual and display ad inventory, but how Google's control over the DART platform will give them a valuable and anti-competitive insight into analytics and traffic trends of all those companies who currently use DART - and this includes some Yahoo and Microsoft properties.

The leaked document also (perhaps strategically) claims that Microsoft doubts whether or not it can effectively compete against Google in the online advertising space, regardless of whether the merger goes through. For more on this, see:
http://www.adotas.com/2007/12/micros...lick-revealed/
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Old 12-31-2007, 12:07 AM   #7
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Interestingly enough that same adotas article also claimed that the European Commission has the ability to void a merger if the two firms were developing or planning to develop competing technologies.

Google stated it will not go through with the merger without full approval from the European Commission as well, perhaps this is Microsoft's way of hinting to them that the deal cannot be allowed to be approved.
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Old 12-31-2007, 12:15 AM   #8
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Could be. This may have been a deliberate leak designed to bring more public attention to Microsoft's case.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:10 AM   #9
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Well, it's all systems go for the GoogleClick show.

Google's $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick was just given an unconditional go-ahead from the European Commission.

This is bound to alter the online advertising landscape forever, unless MSFT can work out its differences with Yahoo and jointly create a worthwhile rival for the Google behemoth.

Read more about the EC approval here:
http://www.internetnews.com/breaking...le.php/3733326

What thinks you all? Is this the start of an amazing union of advertising technologies, or do you fear that Google is increasing its dominance in the industry to the detriment of a competitive marketplace?
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:03 PM   #10
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As the acquisition settles, it looks as though there is likely to be a reduction in workforce at the mighty Googleplex and in the new DoubleClick camp. Google boss Eric Schmidt reported in his blog yesterday that an evaluation of the composition of staff in the company is going to occur immediately.

In his words:
Quote:
An immediate task we’ll undertake over the next few weeks is matching and aligning DoubleClick employees with our organizational plan for the business. This will involve determining the right staffing levels for all functions and will ensure that we have the right people assigned to the right responsibilities within Google. We plan to complete this process in the U.S. by early April...As with most mergers, there may be reductions in headcount. We expect these to take place in the U.S. and possibly in other regions as well. We know that DoubleClick is built on the strength of its people. For this reason we’ll strive to minimize the impact of this process on all of our clients and employees.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:39 PM   #11
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I would think a lot of people are going to look at this in the terms of what they feel it could do for them when it comes to all of these multi-billion dollar companies.

Possibly many people who aren't having the type of revenue results they would like with Google would like to see the Google competition do better so they will have another choice that could help them.

Even people who are doing well with Google might want Google competition to do better since it isn't all that good of an idea to have all their eggs in one basket, or even too many of their eggs in one basket.

As most people know, Google dominates search advertising but only has about one percent of the display advertising. Now with the purchase of DoubleClick completed that is going to change.

Some advertisers are wondering how much good will come out of this for them.

Publishers are also wondering. Those of us who have had some success with AdSense are probably hoping that Google is going to be doing something that will bring us the same type of results as AdSense has.

It is surely going to bring about some very big changes in online advertising and Google is likely to make things a little difficult for some of the competition.

This is really going to be something that will be very interesting to watch.
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:16 PM   #12
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Absolutely. Great summary, btw, Larwee.

Google has a habit of entering new markets the way Microsoft used to do; by buying a promising competitor and giving away or drastically discounting its product in order to knock any remaining competitors out of contention.

Google has already announced a free, hosted ad management tool, which I'll introduce in another thread. That could be the start of the pressure they aim to place on other display technology companies and ad networks. If the rapid uptake of Google Analytics is repeated in that market, some of the smaller ad management companies could be out of business before the end of the year.
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