FTC Blesses Google-DoubleClick

Let the games begin.

Or rather continue.

The Federal Trade Commission has given Google's bid to buy DoubleClick the hi sign.

The acquisition still has to pass muster in Europe, where it may see tougher sledding.

The 4-1 FTC vote comes over Microsoft's figurative dead body. Last spring, Google snarfed DoubleClick out from under Microsoft with 3.1 billion big ones.

Despite Google's nauseatingly public "do no evil" pledge, several players, even some outside Redmond, Wash., worry that it will use its vast trove of consumer Web search data for ill-gotten gain..

Those negative Nellies say Google's Web search dominance and DoubleClick's Web ad power make the combination anti-competitive. Microsoft's protestations of anticompetitive behavior prompted more than one cynic to say: "Pot? Meet kettle." But I digress.

Last May, a month after DoubleClick glommed onto Google, Microsoft took its ball of cash and bought aQuantive, the Internet ad agency for more than $6 billion -- it's biggest buyout to date.

If Google wins over the European commissioners, stay tuned for a battle royale in online advertising.

Barbara Darrow, industry editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Developer News and Redmond Channel Partner, can be reached at [email protected]

Posted by Barbara Darrow on December 20, 2007


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