I just received an alert from CNN Money that the FTC approved the Doubleclick/Google deal 4-1. It was FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour who objected to the merger and stated ‘because I make alternate predictions about where this market is heading, and the transformative role the combined Google/DoubleClick will play if the proposed acquisition is consummated.’ Not a great statement to have on record from the commissioner, but the only voice of opposition (thankfully). Now we have to wait and hope that the European Union antitrust authorities don’t delay the merger further. The EU historically has not been very lenient to large US based technology companies, hopefully this won’t become an issue.
But one has to wonder – if the EU antitrust authorities still has a chip on their shoulders about Microsoft, and Microsoft has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Google/Doubleclick merger, maybe that lessens the potential of resistance and delays? Meanwhile, Microsoft has already integrated aQuantive into their fold, a smart move. “DoubleGoo” will have to catch up once approved globally. Then again, both Google and Doubleclick out-position MSN and Atlas respectively. So the gap has the potential of closing a bit. Either way, I anticipate the ramifications of these deals from a marketer’s standpoint. As such, I simply look forward to the innovation that will emerge from some of the industry consolidation and mega competition.