Microsoft Denounces DoubleClick Deal

Computer Giant to Speak Out Against Google's $3.1 Billion Proposed Acquisition

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Microsoft will unleash a broad attack on Google's $3.1 billion proposed purchase of DoubleClick at a high-stakes congressional hearing today. Its first public challenge of the deal comes as Google defends its purchase of the country's top third-party ad server by saying it benefits consumers and advertisers and promotes competition.
Microsoft up to now has questioned the deal in private but publicly has said only that it needs to be closely examined.
Microsoft up to now has questioned the deal in private but publicly has said only that it needs to be closely examined.

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith is due to tell a Senate Judiciary Committee panel that the purchase would give Google extensive concentration in the online-advertising market, according to a Microsoft spokesman.

Relevant and cost-effective
Google's David Drummond, senior VP-corporate development and chief legal officer, is set to argue that the pact provides opportunities for advertising content that is more relevant and cost-effective. "Display advertising is becoming more sophisticated and more popular with advertisers and publishers," his prepared testimony reads. "Advertisers and publishers who work with us have asked us to complement our text-based advertising with display-advertising capabilities offered by many others in the online-advertising space. Part of our response was our decision to purchase DoubleClick."

His argument is that DoubleClick is to Google as FedEx and UPS are to Amazon, and that no antitrust issues are involved. "We are confident that our purchase does not raise antitrust issues because of one simple fact: Google and DoubleClick are complementary businesses and do not compete with each other."

Microsoft up to now has questioned the deal in private but publicly has said only that it needs to be closely examined. The spokesman the change of heart came because the Senate committee offered a unique opportunity to air the company's concerns at a public forum.

Antitrust, privacy concerns
The hearing comes as the Federal Trade Commission continues to examine antitrust implications along with concerns of privacy advocates, who worry the deal without some restrictions could allow too much tracking and profiling of consumers.

In his prepared testimony, Google's Mr. Drummond says the Google-DoubleClick combination will help consumers receive more-relevant ads while still protecting their privacy.
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