The New York Times is reporting that Microsoft is pressuring Federal regulators to review the Google acquisition of DoubleClick.
According to Steve Lohr of the New York Times, Microsoft feels that the $3.1 billion acquisition will “hurt competition in the fast-growing market for advertising on the Web and raises questions about how much personal information would be collected by Google.”
Why would Microsoft be worried? Besides sour grapes, let’s look at Google’s position:
- Google already corners the market on paid search advertising with Google AdWords
- Google AdSense, its contextual and display ads network, is run on millions of sites
- Google is expanding to television and radio advertising
- Google utilizes user profiling to target its advertising and personalized search results
- Google Analytics is used by professional and amateur sites to integrate tracking of Google referrals, other search engines, and other ad companies
Google CEO Eric Schmidt dismissed Microsoft’s assertions. “We’ve studied this closely, and their claims, as stated, are not true.”
Microsoft contends that the combined companies will have a stranglehold on the market for distributing ads to Web publishers.
Mr. Schmidt, however, said that Google and DoubleClick are “small components of a much larger advertising market,” and face considerable competition. He added that it is easy to switch to offerings from rivals of Google and DoubleClick.
“We understand that we will go through a regulatory process in the United States and Europe now,” Mr. Schmidt said. “Along the way, all these questions will be discussed and debated. And we welcome that.”