When the deal to acquire DoubleClick was announced, some influential bloggers accused it as Google’s anti-competitive act or monopoly behaviour, and is clear way of making DoubleClick away from its competitor. Microsoft heard them and immediately shouted urging the goverment to review the Google-DoubleClick deal:
Microsoft contends that the $3.1 billion deal, announced on Friday, would 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, already a dominant player in online advertising.
Bradford L. Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, said in an interview yesterday that Google’s purchase of DoubleClick would combine the two largest online advertising distributors and thus “substantially reduce competition in the advertising market on the Web.” (source)
So, why did Microsoft complains about the deal, when in fact the acquisition passed through the bidding first? Is it because Microsoft is really interested to own the DoubleClick? Well, it’s true. But it’s not only Microsoft that calls for the review of the deal, Yahoo! and At&T join Microsoft on it. Consider these words of Andy Beal:
What is the best way to act, when you’ve been out-bid for DoubleClick by Google. You walk away with your head held high and at least keep your dignity, right?
Not if you’re Yahoo, Microsoft or AT&T you don’t. According to CNET, having lost out to Google, the three jilted-suitors are starting a campaign to push regulators to examine the $3.2 billion purchase of DoubleClick.
So, that’s the only thing they can do. But will Google let them succeed on this? Of course not. It’s a win situation on the Google’s side as it owns the DoubleClick, as pointed out by Donna Bogatin. Even a former Microsoft guy (Scobble) is against to this action of Microsoft:
Isn’t it funny how there’s been a total turnaround at Microsoft in just six years? Instead of asking us to help poor old persecuted Microsoft out now we’re being asked to have the government look into the business of Google.
Now, you might not agree with me about either case, but I’ll be consistent at least. I was in Microsoft’s side against the government last time (they asked nicely). But I’m in Google’s side this time. Sounds a lot like Microsoft is now the company who had its ass kicked in the marketplace and is running to government regulators to get some relief.
So, what’s really the problem with the deal? I think, there’s no problem if Google acquire Doubleclick. The problem is in Microsoft and the other companies that wanted to own the said company.