Google and DoubleClick, sittin' in a tree (and Magneto Boy)

K.I.S.S.I.N.G. IT Blogwatch: in which Google finally buys DoubleClick after regulators click the thumbs-up. Not to mention the kid who crashes any computer he uses...

Here's Linda Rosencrance, alive and kicking:
[You're fired -Ed.]

Google Inc. today said it officially closed the deal on acquiring online advertising company DoubleClick Inc. for $3.1 billion after receiving approval from ... the European Commission ... [which ruled] that the acquisition didn't pose a significant threat to competition in the European online advertising market. However, the commission reminded the companies that they are expected to adhere to European Union legislation on the privacy of personal data, one of the grounds on which opponents lobbied to block the merger ... [Google] said the combination of Google and DoubleClick will deliver better, more relevant display ads as well as a better user experience. For one thing, users will spend less time waiting for Web pages to load. more

Nate Anderson adds:

The European Commission weighed in today with an official announcement saying that its "in-depth market investigation" found that Google and DoubleClick weren't true competitors and that the merger therefore posed no antitrust problems ... clearing the $3.1 billion deal in advance of its self-imposed mid-April deadline ... The ruling is both bane and blessing to Microsoft. The software giant has consistently been critical of the deal ... Consumer advocacy and privacy groups will be steamed at the Commission's decision ... The Electronic Privacy Information Center is one of the groups ... [citing] inadequate privacy safeguards and "unfair and deceptive trade practices." more

Chief Googler Eric Schmidt grins:

Although it's been nearly a year since we announced our intention to acquire DoubleClick last April, we are no less excited today about the benefits that the combination of our two companies will bring to the online advertising market ... Advertisers and publishers who work with us have long asked that we complement our search and content-based text advertising with display advertising capabilities. DoubleClick gives Google the leading platform for display advertising ... Ultimately ... we will be able to help publishers and advertisers generate more revenue. That in turn will fuel the creation of even more rich and diverse content for Internet users everywhere. more

Erick Schonfeld boggles:

A few hours after the EU approved the deal, Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced that the acquisition is now complete. That was fast. In his note he hints at headcount reductions that will be in store—a nod to Wall Street, no doubt. more

Henry Blodget translates Schmidt's hints:

We're still deciding how many of you to axe ... We recognize that it's harder to fire people in Europe. It may therefore take more time to give you the axe ... Enjoy the amazing free food while you can. more

Ryan Singel agrees:

A DoubleClick cookie ... reports back every time a user visits a site using the system, letting DoubleClick know that user 453689 likes to read motocross stories and GQ magazine and spends a lot of time playing online Flash games. Google can merge that database with its deep knowledge of users' search histories, along with its growing database of URLs visited by Google users who don't realize that Google ... continually tracks their every step on the internet, not just when they are on a Google property ... Very clearly, you will soon be seeing more ads served by Google technology, and Google technology will be seeing and saving more information about what you do around the web than ever before. more

John Murrell looks ahead:

There’s integration (and layoffs) to deal with first, but the company expects a fast start. “We would be disappointed in 2008-2009 if we don’t have a very significant position in the display-ad marketplace,” said Tim Armstrong, Google’s North American president for advertising and commerce. While the regulatory reviews addressed competition, they chose not to deal with the second major objection raised when the acquisition was announced — that the combined scope of data gathered by Google and DoubleClick represented a potential threat to privacy. That seems to be our job to monitor. more

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

Other Computerworld bloggers:

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You too can pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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