Feeds

EU Google-DoubleClick probe calls for Google-DoubleClick probe

$3.1bn merger could 'harm consumers'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

After investigating Google's bid to buy DoubleClick, EU antitrust regulators have decided to investigate it again.

The European Commission originally promised a ruling on Google's proposed $3.1bn purchase on October 26. Then it delayed things a bit, promising a decision would arrive today. And today, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, it said we'll have to wait until April 2.

The commission's initial probe "indicated that the proposed merger would raise competition concerns in the markets for intermediation and ad serving in online advertising." So now it's launched a full-scale anti-trust investigation, which will take another 90 days.

"The Commission will, in particular, investigate whether without this transaction, DoubleClick would have grown into an effective competitor of Google in the market for online ad intermediation," reads a statement from the commission.

But that's not all: "It will also investigate whether the merger, which combines the leading providers of respectively, on the one hand, online advertising space and intermediation services, and, on the other hand, ad serving technology, could lead to anti-competitive restrictions for competitors operating in these markets and thus harm consumers."

Google agreed to purchase DoubleClick in April this year, but the deal has faced scrutiny from the US Federal Trade Commission as well as the EU.

Google insists the merger will promote free speech. But various online ad rivals and privacy advocates see things a little differently. Microsoft, in particular, has vehemently argued that the deal would throttle competition.

Yes, that's the same Microsoft that was slapped by the US Department of Justice for monopolistic shenanigans in the operating system market. But it may have a point. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?