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Sullivan: Google Should Spinoff DoubleClick SEO Biz

Performics ownership may be a conflict of interest

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Google’s approved acquisition of DoubleClick brings along an SEO asset, the Performics business that search maven Danny Sullivan needs to be divested immediately.

Owning a search engine optimization business, no matter what internal separation Google can claim will be in place, won’t be enough to keep people from seeing an inherent conflict of interest.

To avoid that, Sullivan said at Search Engine Land Google needs to do what it should have done as soon as the European Union approved the deal, and announced it would send Performics away:

Even if Performics is kept completely separate from the Google search team, there’s the impression that Performics might have some special “in” with Google’s non-paid search results. After all, Google owns it! It’s also not hard to imagine that despite all the best intentions, some new sales rep might pitch that Performics has some type of in. That a bad thing.

Google told Sullivan they weren’t in any particular hurry to move Performics, or anything else, out of their shiny new purchase:

We intend to spend the next several months assessing all of DoubleClick’s products and services including those offered by Performics. In the near term, we intend to operate Performics as a stand-alone business unit consistent with its past practices. Upon the completion of our integration planning with respect to Performics, we will be in a better position to announce our future plans for this business.

Sullivan incredulously commented that Google hasn’t figured out the conflict of interest exists. We are inclined to think Google understands well what they have purchased. As neither the FTC nor the EU imposed any conditions on their approval of the DoubleClick deal, we don’t see Google doing anything other than laying off redundant sales and marketing people over the next few months.

Sullivan: Google Should Spinoff DoubleClick SEO Biz
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    Intersting post, made me think about the dynamics of aquisition with big business