CNNMoney reports that the European Commission has cleared the $3.1 billion dollar buyout of DoubleClick by Google, after the EU commission has been debating on the buyout and its effect on web users, privacy and the Internet economy since Novermber.
The European Commission ruled that the Google DoubleClick transaction will more than likely not have harmful effects on consumers, either in ad serving or in intermediation in online advertising markets.
- The commission said it therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition within the European Economic Area (EEA) or a significant part of it.
- The commission said its in-depth market investigation found that Google and DoubleClick were not exerting major competitive constraints on each other’s activities and could, therefore, not be considered as competitors at the moment.
- The commission said it found the merged entity would not have the ability to engage in strategies aimed at marginalising Google’s competitors, mainly because of the presence of credible ad serving alternatives to which customers can switch, in particular vertically integrated companies such as Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) , Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Time Warner Inc’s (NYSE:TWX) AOL.
- The commission added that the market investigation found the merged entity would not have the incentive to close off access for competitors in the ad serving market, mainly because such strategies would be unlikely to be profitable.
- The commission said its decision to clear the proposed merger is based exclusively on its appraisal under the EU merger regulation and is without prejudice to the merged entity’s obligations under EU legislation in relation to the protection of individuals and the protection of privacy with regard to the processing of personal data and the member states’ implementing legislation.