Now that the FTC has cleared Google’s acquisition of Doubleclick, we have only to wait for Europe and it will be a done deal. That makes it sound easy. In reality, Europe will probably be the toughest fight, particularly because much of the concern surrounding the deal is around privacy. For those who read John Lovett’s blog this week, note that Google already has plenty of places to track behavior, albeit all on Google properties. Doubleclick has the potential to expand that far beyond such boundaries. But I have to admit that I do see the FTC’s point that many other large properties have recently been allowed to acquire far reaching ad networks that provide similar opportunities. This week Microsoft announced its new partnership with Viacom, which will include replacing Viacom’s Doubleclick software with Atlas as well as an ad revenue deal. There is no reason why Microsoft can’t benefit from relationship the same way Googleclick would have if Viacom hadn’t made the switch.
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