The Federal Trade Commission today approved Google’s $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick, a ruling that was necessary to allay fears the merger may pose a risk to competition.
Now that the merger has been cleared in the U.S., attention turns to the European Commission. Google can’t close the acquisition until it gets Europe’s approval, given the extensive operations of both companies in that region.
The acquisition was approved earlier this year by Australia, but hasn’t been approved yet anywhere else.
Google, in a statement, said the FTC’s ruling supports its case elsewhere:
…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.
Google also pointed to other big players and their deals lately, suggesting there’s no need for anti-trust action: Yahoo’s acquisition of Right Media; AOL’s acquisition of ADTECH AG and TACODA; WPP Group’s acquisition of 24/7 Real Media; and Microsoft’s $6 billion acquisition of aQuantive and acquisition of AdECN Inc.
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