For some time now, a sort of "Google vs. Everybody" situation has been developing in Germany. The bad news for the search giant is that, as four online marketing agencies have prepared to team up, the situation's continuing to take shape, and the European Commission is fine with it.
G + J Electronic Media Service, IP Deutschland, SevenOne Media, and Tomorrow Focus Portal intend to work together in the realm of online display advertising. A statement issued today explained that they will "develop and sell a new product to allow advertisers to reach better defined target groups of Internet users whose profiles would be created based on anonymous data collected throughout a large network of participating websites."
Individually, these organizations all appear to be rather important and at least fairly successful. Together, they should represent quite a force.
So here's the extra-noteworthy part: the statement later added, "The Commission concluded that the proposed concentration was unlikely to raise competition concerns given the parties' low market shares in online advertising and the presence of strong competitors like Google."
We'll try to keep an eye on how this joint project proceeds. Meanwhile, a big hat tip goes to Robert Andrews.