Google And DoubleClick: The Saga Continues

The relevant issues swirling around the pending acquisition of DoubleClick by Google are little understood by the public, pundits, and even, it would seem, by Congress and the regulators charged with approving or disapproving the deal. Danny has written at length about the competitive implications of the deal. But privacy concerns have gotten mixed up in the discussion. What’s very clear, however, is that privacy is not relevant to the anti-trust considerations before the FTC. (Privacy is an important debate, but not immediately relevant to the legal issues before the committee.)

There are a range of pieces today from various publications that address FTC procedures and various aspects of the debate.

CNET says the FTC has been granted an extension to review the deal. It also reports that privacy groups are asking the FTC chair to recuse herself because her husband’s law firm advises DoubleClick.

CNET and the NY Times also report on House Republican Joe Barton’s privacy-oriented attack on the proposed deal as potentially being against consumer interests. (Again, privacy isn’t relevant to the anti-trust questions before the committee.) The CNET piece includes the full text of the letter from Barton to Google.

The EU recently decided to apply greater scrutiny to the deal and is undertaking a review that will address some of the same competitive concerns before the FTC. The Europeans have historically been harder on such issues than their American counterparts, who tend to take a more hands-off approach.

It would still appear likely that Google will be granted permission to proceed with the acquisition. However, the longer all this regulatory wrangling goes on, the more it becomes a problem for Google. The confusion of the relevant legal issues before the FTC is also a problem for Google.

What’s clear is that some in Congress are trying to score political points and gain some personal PR exposure with these letters about consumer privacy. Privacy issues are highly important and are the proper subject of public debate, but they’re not relevant to the question of whether the DoubleClick merger should be approved. And Google shouldn’t be singled out for privacy scrutiny. The entire industry should be part of that discussion.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Acquisitions | Google: Critics | Legal: Privacy

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide