Monday, April 16, 2007

DoubleClick DoubleTake: Plus ca change...

Back in 1999 when DoubleClick bought Abacus for $1.7 billion, privacy groups hotly opposed the merger on grounds that it could increase the likelihood of corporate abuse of customer data, combining Web surfing habits obtained from 5 billion ads DoubleClick served per week in those days and the 2 billion personally identifiable consumer catalog transactions recorded by Abacus.

Fast forward to today, when Internet and media rivals to Google, fearing an unprecedented consolidation of power in the online advertising market, are expected to urge regulators to closely scrutinize the Web search leader's $3.1 billion deal to buy DoubleClick, which would be the largest acquisition in Google's history, coming just six months after Google paid $1.65 billion to acquire video-sharing site YouTube. Terms of the deal call for Google to pay cash to DoubleClick investors, private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which bought DoubleClick in 2005 for $1.1 billion in a deal that took the company private.

Microsoft, for one, said the deal would allow Google to corner the online advertising market and provide them access to a huge amount of information on consumer behavior on the Internet.

AT&T senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs Jim Cicconi said on Sunday that Google would be in a position to pick winners and losers in the industry. "If Google becomes the dominant force in terms of Web advertising and becomes the broker, that would be clear evidence of market power and dominant position," Cicconi said.

Off-line Ventures

According to Reuters, "Industry analysts said the deal would let Google focus more attention on extending its advertising forces offline -- into the print, television and radio advertising arena.

"Google said on Sunday it landed a deal to sell a portion of the advertising inventory for top U.S. radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications's radio division.

"Earlier, it landed a similar deal to sell TV ads for No. 2 U.S. satellite television provider EchoStar Communications."

1 comment:

Ernie Schell said...

On Nov. 13 the European Union (EU) said it would need until possibly next April to finish its review of the DoubleClick acquisition.

Though analysts think the deal will be approved, DoubleClick CEO Eric Schmidt expressed disappointment, citing competitive disadvantages to any delay beyond the end of this year.

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