The Federal Trade Commission has asked Google for additional information on possible business overlaps with DoubleClick, the Internet ad broker Google agreed in April to purchase for $3.1 billion, beyond the materials it provided when the deal was originally announced. Google rivals Microsoft, AT&T and Time Warner have all said they believe the deal should be examined closely, since it would give Google ostensible control over the online ad market. The deal has also been criticized by consumer privacy advocates who are concerned about the access it will provide Google to data about individuals' online activities. Google has cited other deals that have been inked since the DoubleClick agreement as evidence that "the online advertising industry is a dynamic and evolving space," not a looming monopoly. Since mid-April, Yahoo has announced it is paying $680 million for the 80% of online ad exchange operator Right Media it did not previously own; AOL LLC bought a controlling interest in online ad company Adtech AG; WPP Group agreed to buy 24/7 Real Media for $649 million; and Microsoft offered $6 billion for aQuantive. The DoubleClick deal "poses no risk to competition and should be approved," according to Don Harrison, senior corporate counsel for Google.
Sources: MarketWatch, MoneyCentral, Wall Street Journal
Commentary: Microsoft, AT&T Press for Review of Google-DoubleClick Deal • WPP Group Buys 24/7 Real Media for $649 Million • Why aQuantive Was Worth Twice As Much As DoubleClick
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Google Inc. (GOOG), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), AT&T (T). ETFs: iShares Goldman Sachs Technology (IGM), iShares Goldman Sachs Software (IGV), First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index (FDN), First Trust IPOX-100 Index (FPX)
Conference call transcripts: Google Q1 2007
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