FTC Opens Google, DoubleClick Probe

    May 29, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The Federal Trade Commission will take a look at Google’s proposed $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick, and consider the antitrust ramifications of the deal.

Microsoft and other competitors saw their wish of a federal investigation come true. Google’s deal for DoubleClick would give the search advertising company an astonishing amount of personal information, along with a potent third party ad serving network.

The power Google would have with this deal had companies chattering about antitrust concerns, with Microsoft being the most vocal and prominent of them. Microsoft complained immediately after the proposed purchase made headlines.

Now the New York Times has a little bird chirping in its ear about Google and DoubleClick. An unnamed industry executive said the FTC has opened up a preliminary investigation of the acquisition.

The FTC isn’t talking about the rumor, which the Times claims is solidly sourced. An initial inquiry isn’t a huge deal, and one that was probably expected by Google anyway.

Their challenge would come if the FTC puts in a second request for information about the deal. Those take much longer to complete, usually six months or more, and have been known to squash potential deals between other companies.