Google Gets US Approval for DoubleClick Merger: EU Undecided

20 Dec

FTC has approved Google’s purchase of  ad giant DoubleClick. In its announcement today closing the investigation into the merger, the FTC concluded that the deal “is unlikely to substantially lessen competition.”

The decision is certain to generate controversy, since FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras’ refused to recuse herself after it was alleged that her husband, an antitrust lawyer at a prominent DC law firm, was helping to represent DoubleClick. Commissioner William Kovacic also chose not recuse himself even thoughhis wife works at the same law firm.

From Google:

“In its clearance opinion released today, the FTC explicitly rejected any current or potential competition concerns.  Google and DoubleClick are complementary businesses and do not compete with each other.  Google’s current business primarily involves the selling of text-based ads, while DoubleClick’s core business is delivering and reporting on display ads.  DoubleClick does not buy ads, sell ads, or buy or sell advertising space.  Rather, it provides technology to enable advertisers and publishers to deliver ads once they have agreed to terms, and to provide advertisers and publishers statistics relating to those ads.”

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