European Commission to Investigate Doubleclick Acquistion

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Includes: DCLK, GOOG
by: Eric Savitz

The European Commission has confirmed that it will open an in-depth investigation of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) proposed acquisition of DoubleClick (DCLK).

The Commission said its initial investigation found that “the proposed merger would raise competition concerns in the markets for intermediation and ad serving in online advertising.” The Commission now has 90 working days - until April 2, 2008 - to take a final decision on whether the proposed transaction would significantly impede effective competition.

The Commission said it will, in particular, “investigate whether without this transaction, DoubleClick would have grown into an effective competitor of Google in the market for online ad intermediation. It will also investigate whether the merger, which combines the leading providers of respectively, on the one hand, online advertising space and intermediation services, and, on the other hand, ad serving technology, could lead to anti-competitive restrictions for competitors operating in these markets and thus harm consumers.”

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