Feeds

Google to save mankind through DoubleClick deal

More blogs, more ads, more freedom

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.