Bell Deja Vu: Is It Time To Break Up Google?

    April 24, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Since Google’s surprise (and staggering) acquisition of DoubleClick, the most unlikely of trustbusters (Microsoft and AT&T) have emerged. Though their complaints may seem opportunistic and hypocritical, they may be on the money with the level of control the deal gives Google. Smaller entities are chiming in as well, suggesting it may be time to do with Google what was done with the baby bells.

Bell Deja Vu: Is It Time To Break Up Google?
Bell Deja Vu: Is It Time To Break Up Google?

Don’t feel too sorry for Daniel Yomtobian, CEO and founder of ABCSearch. He just inked a deal with Idearc’s (formerly Verizon’s) to redistribute local advertising on ABCSearch’s network.

While that’s obviously good news for Yomtobian, he seems to understand that the situation is, to borrow from O Brother, Where Art Thou, pert-nigh hopeless for tier-two search engines wanting to enter the game.

"I don’t think [allowing the DoubleClick buy] is a good idea," he told WebProNews. "This deal could create a monopoly in the online ad industry." And that will hurt "little guys," and any emerging technology they develop.

Yomtobian brags about his company’s patented click-fraud protection technology, which identifies potentially fraudulent clicks and subtracts the cost of them before billing clients.

"I don’t think Google or Yahoo has any patents on their click-fraud technology," he said.

In addition to limiting the reach of emerging technologies, Yomtobian says Google’s new relationship with DoubleClick also limits advertising network options.

ABCSearch currently uses contextual advertising companies like DoubleClick, but Yomtobian says because Google is a competitor in the cost-per-click space, they may have to stop advertising on DoubleClick’s network.

"I wonder if Google’s getting to a point to where we would have to break them down into the baby bells," he pondered, referring to the 1984 breakup of AT&T.

"Half the time, I see Google ads on the entire Web. "There’s no chance to compete in this space."

That seems to be Microsoft’s complaint, too, as the Redmond, Wash.-based company seeks their own foothold in the online ad market. It’s also cause for sour grapes, as Microsoft reportedly made a bigger offer than Google for DoubleClick.

The outcome of the deal is in federal regulatory hands, and will possibly be decided within the month. If Microsoft has its way, it won’t go through. If it is approved, expect the next investigation to decide whether Google’s gotten too big for its britches.