Feeds

Google to save mankind through DoubleClick deal

More blogs, more ads, more freedom

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Google and Microsoft went toe-to-toe yesterday on Capitol Hill, jawing over Google's proposed $3.1bn merger with online ad firm DoubleClick.

Speaking before a Senate subcommittee that handles antitrust issues, Microsoft said that the merger would hinder competition in the online ad market and endanger the privacy of people everywhere, giving Google exclusive control over the largest database of user information ever assembled.

Meanwhile, Google said the deal would empower consumers, enliven small businesses, and promote free speech.

That free speech bit has us doubled over with laughter, but it's hard to side with Microsoft. The Redmond outfit - which was slapped by the DoJ for monopolistic practices in the operating system market - reportedly made a bid for DoubleClick and recently nabbed another online ad firm, aQuantive, in a deal worth $6bn. The Federal Trade Commission has approved the Microsoft-aQuantive merger, but it's still mulling over the Google-DoubleClick pact.

"I will be the first to admit that Microsoft is not disinterested in this issue," said Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith.

Smith voiced his displeasure for the merger before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights. Since Google already dominates search advertising and DoubleClick maintains a firm grip on internet banner advertising, Smith said, a combined company would have an undue level of control over a market that's expected to top $54bn by 2011.

"What are the economic implications of allowing the largest internet company in online advertising to acquire it's most significant competitor?" Smith asked the committee. "If Google and DoubleClick are allowed to merge, Google will become the overwhelmingly dominant pipeline for all forms of online advertising." He claimed that a combined company would control 70 per cent of the search ad market and 80 percent of the banner ad market.

He insisted this would "be bad" for web publishers, web advertisers, and consumers. Most importantly, he said, the merger would threaten end user privacy.

"Today, it's generally believed that Google and DoubleClick have amassed the two largest databases of online user data in the world," he said. "With this merger Google seeks to record nearly everything you see and do on the internet and use that to target ads."

Then he added that a combined Google-DoubleClick database would throttle competition from rival companies - like Microsoft. "These privacy issues in fact have antitrust consequences," he said. "This concentration of user information means that no other company will be able to serve ads as profitably."

And Google's take on the matter?

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.