Feeds

Google to save mankind through DoubleClick deal

More blogs, more ads, more freedom

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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?

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.