Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt said Wednesday he is hopeful the $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick will close by year-end, despite federal regulatory scrutiny. "We are quite convinced that the proposed merger meets all appropriate U.S. laws and is ultimately very good for consumers and for advertisers and publishers," Schmidt said at a news conference at the Seoul Digital Forum. Google's rivals, including Microsoft, have criticized the deal as giving Google too much share of the online ad market; and privacy advocates, led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, have also weighed in with concerns about the access DoubleClick will provide Google to consumer information. The Federal Trade Commission, which is handling the government probe, usually addresses monopoly concerns, but analysts say there is precedent for it to examine privacy issues as well. Schmidt is "not concerned" about privacy "because we knew competitors would raise those issues, as indeed they have," and the company evaluated the question closely when considering the acquisition. Schmidt's comments reiterated statements he made earlier in the month forecasting a year-end close to the deal.
Sources: Reuters, PE.com
Commentary: Google's Purchase of DoubleClick Faces Antitrust Scrutiny • Microsoft, AT&T Press for Review of Google-DoubleClick Deal
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). Competitors: Microsoft, Inc. (NASDAQ:MSFT), Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO). ETFs: iShares Goldman Sachs Technology (NYSEARCA:IGM), iShares Goldman Sachs Software (NYSEARCA:IGV), First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index (NYSEARCA:FDN), First Trust IPOX-100 Index (NYSEARCA:FPX)
Conference call transcripts: Q1 2007
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