Google today welcomed the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's clearance of its planned acquisition of DoubleClick Inc.
Google announced in April 2007 a definitive agreement to acquire the
company for $3.1 billion in cash from San Francisco-based private
equity firm Hellman & Friedman along with JMI Equity and management. However, the European Commission has not yet evaluated the deal to determine whether it is anti-competitive.
"The FTC's strong support sends a clear message: this acquisition
poses no risk to competition and will benefit consumers," said Eric
Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google. "We hope that the European
Commission will soon reach the same conclusion, and we are confident
that this deal will deliver more relevant ads for consumers, more
choices for advertisers, and more opportunities for website
The acquisition was approved earlier this year by the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission and was recommended for approval
by one of three Brazilian regulatory agencies. Google cannot close
the acquisition until the European Commission, which is still
examining the transaction, grants clearance of the deal.
In its clearance opinion released today, the FTC explicitly rejected
any current or potential competition concerns. Google and
DoubleClick are complementary businesses and do not compete with
each other. Google's current business primarily involves the
selling of text-based ads, while DoubleClick's core business is
delivering and reporting on display ads. DoubleClick does not buy
ads, sell ads, or buy or sell advertising space. Rather, it provides
technology to enable advertisers and publishers to deliver ads once
they have agreed to terms, and to provide advertisers and publishers
statistics relating to those ads.
The FTC's opinion also noted the robust competition in the online ad
serving space, and Google's acquisition of DoubleClick is just one
of several recent transactions that underscore this strong
competition. In recent months, several major transactions in the
online advertising space were announced, including Yahoo?s
acquisition of Right Media; AOL?s acquisition of ADTECH AG and
TACODA; WPP Group?s acquisition of 24/7 Real Media; and Microsoft?s
$6 billion acquisition of aQuantive and acquisition of AdECN Inc.