U.S. antitrust regulators approved Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick Thursday. The Federal Trade Commission said that it has closed its investigation into Google's proposed buyout of DoubleClick and will not seek to block the deal. It remains to be seen if European regulators will approve the transaction without major limitations. The deal cannot be completed without their approval; a deadline of April 2 has been set to finish its review.
In a 4-1 vote, the FTC said its analysis "showed that the companies are not direct competitors in any relevant antitrust market." They accepted that Google and DoubleClick are complementary businesses and do not compete with each other.
Google's current business primarily involves the selling of text-based ads, while DoubleClick's core business is delivering and reporting on display ads. CNBC commentator Jim Goldman said this could be the biggest win in Google's history as this is the deal which gets them into display advertising, which is a huge growth area. Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and other critics have argued the transaction would give Google a dominant share of the rapidly growing online ad market.
Additional Reading: European Commission to Investigate Doubleclick Acquistion, Did Viacom Choose Microsoft to Punish Google?
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