EU sets date for Google DoubleClick decision
The European Commission will make a decision on whether to approve Google’s takeover of DoubleClick before the end of October.
EU regulators set a 26 October deadline for their initial review, when they will either give the go-ahead or annnounce a more thorough investigation of the deal that could last several months.
Critics – an unlikely marriage of consumers groups and big business – believe the acquisition will give the merged company control of a large part of the internet advertising business and unprecedented access to data on internet users’ habits.
Google’s competition counsel Julia Holtz says the company asked the EU to look at the deal. “We believe this deal is positive for both users and advertisers and fosters competition,” she claims.
Consumer Groups want the Commission and the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to block the takeover. They claim it would “give one company access to more information about the internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world”.
Google’s main rivals in the internet advertising market – Microsoft and Yahoo – as well as companies including mobile network operator, AT&T, have already persuaded the FTC to open its own investigation.
Toby Coppel, managing director of Yahoo Europe, says the deal raises important questions about the future of the internet advertising business. “These questions warrant an in-depth debate and review by a broad range of Internet publishers, advertisers, service providers and governments in Europe and elsewhere,” he says.