In a pro-Big Media trend by government regulatory agencies, Google was just handed a huge Christmas present by the FTC, which voted 4 to 1 to approve the $3 Billion Google acquisition of DoubleClick. The FTC determined that there is enough competition in the online advertising space to let Google control a very large chunk of the marketplace, especially since Google competitors like AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo have taken a similar route in securing their part of the Internet advertising world.
According to the LA Times, Microsoft was one of the largest companies lobbying against the DoubleClick acquisition.
The FTC ruled that Google and DoubleClick are not both focused on the same parts of the Internet advertising market, which is expected to bring in $28 billion in revenue next year.
The FTC did however express concerns about privacy issues in the search and Internet advertising market, since companies like Google and their competition track various person and behavioral web surfing trends to serve the most precise advertising that they can.
Of course as a marketer, the more targeted the better the result, so this pinpoint tracking is a very good thing for advertisers. So, expect a lot of lobbying to get the FTC to turn a blind eye.
In related news, Google was not the only media conglomerate handed a golden egg this week, the FCC and FTC made some very pro-media decisions, with some of the largest decisions to open up new markets for online, television, mobile and print media since 1996.
These decisions will open up wireless to Google, and also benefit traditional media like newspapers and cable providers (and encourage the merging of these companies), to have a larger grasp on local markets, perhaps to prepare for competition once the current online media companies decide to take on the cable and print media.