The European Commission has approved Google’s $3.1 billion acquisition of web advertiser DoubleClick.
The deal was already approved in the United States, but the decision is still very good news for Google. European regulators have been tough on other U.S. tech companies, such as Microsoft, and Google’s falling stock price has taken away some of the company’s air of invincibility.
In addition to large display ads, DoubleClick deals with “ad serving,” which helps advertisers target potential customers, and which sends those customers to ad networks like Google’s AdSense.
Microsoft and Yahoo complained that the deal would make it difficult or impossible for other ad networks to compete. Privacy advocates said the merger would allow Google to collect an uncomfortable amount of information about web users.
The European Commission, however, ruled that DoubleClick’s competitors “would continue to exert sufficient competitive pressure after the merger.”
The news confirms Bloomberg’s report last week that the commission would side with Google, and that the ruling could come as early as today (our coverage).