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Google tests ad platform and inventory manager

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Google is beta testing Ad Manager - the software aimed at making running ads on websites easier for smaller businesses.

The hosted service is free and is designed for smaller companies than DoubleClick's product Revenue Centre. The European Commission formally approved Google's takeover of DoubleClick two days ago. Regulators decided the $3.1bn deal would not damage competition. US regulators approved the deal last year.

On its corporate blog, Google said the two complement each other because DoubleClick is aimed at larger sales teams while Ad Manager is more suited to smaller firms.

The software lets you organise and publish adverts on a website and keep track of inventory and performance. It can also run reports tracking how well adverts perform - how many people saw a specific advert and how many clicked through.

The service is invite-only at the moment, but if you go to the site and ask nicely, they might let you in.

The software is non-exclusive so you can use it to link to any ad network, like Microsoft's or Yahoo!'s. ®

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