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Google buys DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion 351

Posted by Zonk
from the still-waiting-for-my-buyout-offer dept.
marvinalone writes "The New York Times reports that Google has purchased DoubleClick. That seems to be the conclusion to the speculation we've talked about earlier. From the article: 'Google reached an agreement today to acquire DoubleClick, the online advertising company, from two private equity firms for $3.1 billion in cash, the companies announced, an amount that was almost double the $1.65 billion in stock that Google paid for YouTube late last year.'"
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Google buys DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion

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  • whoa (Score:5, Funny)

    by rbochan (827946) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:01PM (#18726107) Homepage
    Now Microsoft's anti-spyware will absolutely flag it!

    • Re:whoa (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rei (128717) on Friday April 13, 2007 @08:01PM (#18726841) Homepage
      Heh, Microsoft should be concerned with Google; they're everywhere that Microsoft wants to go, and if you don't keep moving as a corporation, you lose investors.

      When I saw this headline, all I could think was "Google buys up another chunk of the internet." Seriously -- DoubleClick is everywhere. It's almost like google's trying to become the web.
      • Re:whoa (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Duhavid (677874) on Friday April 13, 2007 @09:42PM (#18727631)

        if you don't keep moving as a corporation, you lose investors.


        I always thought the name of the game was to keep your focus
        and not dilute your efforts. And as far as I can tell,
        the only reason Google is everywhere that Microsoft wants to
        go is because they see what Google does, and want to emulate
        that. That is reactive, and seems like a sure way to lose
        your way. I dont like Microsoft much as a company, but
        in the past you had to give them credit for not losing
        focus. They kept after things they started until they got
        it basically usable, and mostly solid. And did a better
        job of that than many other companies. Microsoft should
        be concerned with finding the ( lawful ) strategies and
        tactics that get them where they want to be, and stop letting
        other companies define so much of thier roadmap.
        • by Locutus (9039)
          You missed the 20 years of history which show that Microsoft is a follower of "technology" and their only successes come from noticing what others are doing and then embedding a cheap copy into Windows and piping it out to everyone via the pre-install channel. Think of it like a sewer pipe Microsoft has to millions of desktops. The original inventor of the new technology ends up with nothing while Microsoft builds a ball of shit which is painted to LOOK like the original and then shovels it out those pipes
  • by logixoul (1046000) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:02PM (#18726121)
    Google is the new Microsoft. :^)
    • by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:20PM (#18726377)
      I, for one, welcome our new online advertising overlords, and I'd like to remind them that as a trusted member of Slashdot, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground click farms.
    • I'm not in total disagreement with you, my googlove notwithstanding. I don't get it; what's the hook. I haven't made an http request to doubleclick in years, on account of m4d hosts file management skillz.

      Usually when google picks up a property, it's one with a bit of vision. Does DC have something technologically interesting under the hood somewhere?
      • Re:Sad to say, but (Score:5, Interesting)

        by FutureDomain (1073116) on Friday April 13, 2007 @08:48PM (#18727219)

        Does DC have something technologically interesting under the hood somewhere?
        Think a minute about all the advertising capital that Doubleclick has! It has banner ads everywhere, and advertising partners to buy all those ads. Now every Doubleclick advertising partner is also a Google advertising partner. Google is positioning itself as the Internet advertising company.

        Although I also wandered what Google was getting itself into buying a company that notoriously places tracking cookies on computers everywhere, I can see what they're trying to do. I only hope that Google will clean them up instead of Doubleclick dirtying Google. They should stop putting tracking cookies on people's computers, remove any tracking cookies already on the computer, and deny any overly flashy banner ads. That would strongly increase Google's credibility and help eliminate some of the garbage on the Internet.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bberens (965711)
          I agree. The price is so high not because Doubleclick's advertising is so high, but because Google wanted to pick them up before Microsoft or some other advertising company bought/merged with them. It might have been expensive, but if you're looking to monopolize the online advertising market, no price is too high to sweep the feet out from under competitors.
        • Re:Sad to say, but (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Prune (557140) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @06:51AM (#18729993)
          Are you shitting me? Google's tracking is far more nefarious. I quote another post from this thread by an Anonymous Coward:

          Google ad sense operates on a different level...using cookies is just part of the game. Via IP pingbacks, toolbar tracking, and account identification, users may unkowningly be giving out alot more data than they realize.

          Say for instance that you use Gmail. or any Google service that requires login. Google can track you via that login to each site you visit that has a google ad (70% of the net from what I understand). See, doubleclick never had this part of the equation...they never had account info. Google can tie your IPs, usernames, email content, and web browsing activity...and you can't do jack about it (short of blocking the google scripts themselves). Even without login account info, Google has the ability to track your individual machine via IP pingbacks. If you nav to page one, the google ad gets your exposed ip, then the next page you visit that has a google ad...yep..that ip is used to track that navigation. No cookie needed. Of course, if your behind a firewall, only the firewall ip would get exposed. But still...do you really want to give anyone that much information about you?
  • obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by User 956 (568564) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:02PM (#18726125) Homepage
    DoubleClick got owned!

    no, really!
  • by bigtangringo (800328) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:02PM (#18726131) Homepage
    Doubleclick is still blocked in every way, shape, and form available on my browser.
    • by Hatta (162192) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:09PM (#18726229) Journal
      What happens when google absorbs doubleclick and starts sending ads from google.com instead of doubleclick.net?
      • Block the sub{directory,domain} that includes the ads. I doubt they'd do a better job for the doubleclick ads than they do for their own.
      • I suppose that depends how annoying they are, I currently disallow google ads at work, and allow them at home.

        So long as they're small unobtrusive ads, I don't mind it very much.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by daeg (828071)
          I had the same opinion until retarded eBay ads started showing up everywhere. No, just because I'm browsing an article about "postfix bugs" doesn't mean I want to buy a "BUG COLLECTION GUIDE at eBay" or "POSTFIX FOR DUMMIES EBOOK at eBay", etc.

          Likewise, browsing website A will often give negative opinions of it, sponsored by website B. "Toolset A buggy? Try Toolset B!" etc.

          That's when they got blocked.

          Bad ad-approval monkeys. No banana for you.
      • by gad_zuki! (70830)
        Then you jsut block google's own ad servers, which Ive been doing for years with a simple hosts file. [everythingisnt.com] Works for all browsers/applications on my system. Also set your google never-expire tracking cookie to get deleted once per session [everythingisnt.com] and you're set.
    • In my case, I'm always waiting on the page content to load due to a slow ass Doubleclick server loading the ad in my browser. I've tried putting in host file entries to block doubleclick, but sometimes that does not even let the page load.
    • by alphamugwump (918799) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:26PM (#18726457)
      I block ads at my firewall with moblock/bluetack. Then, I block them again with privoxy. Then, I use the pgl blocklists with konqueror. I also change my MAC address every 3 hours, do all my browsing through Tor, and clear my cookies when I'm done.

      Yeah, I'm a little obsessive.
      • by humina (603463)
        Doesn't tor make your browsing really slow? Are you able to watch videos from places like youtube? I tried using tor and it was painfully slow.
        • by Slur (61510)
          You know what? That's not a bad bloody idea. If everyone on SlashDot agreed to run Tor - for a day, a week, or a month... call it "The Month Tor Got SlashDotted." I imagine the speed of Tor would go way up, wouldn't it?

          .
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        its not the web cookies you have to worry about.

        its the web brownies that will get you every time.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by sharkey (16670)
          You know when a Cub Scout becomes a Boy Scout?


          When he eats his first Brownie!
  • by h4ter (717700) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:04PM (#18726155) Homepage
    ...as if millions of chairs suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
  • Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by huckamania (533052) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:04PM (#18726159) Journal
    3.1 billion to pretty much lock up the on-line advertising market. I wonder what percentage of the on-line advertising market will push Google into Monopoly territory. I would guess they are getting pretty close.

    I wonder how long until it becomes obligatory to hate Google...

    • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Interesting)

      by apathy maybe (922212) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:29PM (#18726513) Homepage Journal
      Hate them now. Use their products if you want, but hate them anyway.

      Seriously though, Google doesn't have a monopoly on on-line text advertising (even pay per-click), Yahoo has got into that business (formally Overture)[http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com] and I'm sure other companies have as well. This [http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/columns/executiv e_tech/article.php/3395571] article has some interesting comments on the matter of fraud.

      And there are still heaps of other advertisers out their, and you know what, I block almost all of them (Adblock and NoScript, 'tis great). (For most sites, it is seriously, if they can't cope without my viewing their ads (even if I'm never going to ever buy anything), then I guess I can do without them. For sites like this, I like to think that I am helping to contribute to more people coming here by having insightful and interesting comments. After all, that is what gets the people looking at the site, and thus the ads.)
  • by LorenzoV (106795) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:05PM (#18726175)
    ... "Do no evil?"

    Every doubleclick host that I can identify is permanently blocked here for web bugs and Dartmail. I don't see that changing any time soon, either.

    One could hope that Google will change Doubleclick's behavior before putting their own name on the services.

    • by dreamchaser (49529) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:34PM (#18726571) Homepage Journal
      "Do no evil", if it was ever anything other than clever PR, went away the moment they caved to China. It actually probably went away, again if it ever was even a real credo, long before that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dwater (72834)
        > It actually probably went away, again if it ever was even a real credo, long before that.

        Right. It's nothing to do with China; it's to do with American greed, plain and simple. It started (IMO) at the IPO.
      • by binkzz (779594)
        If Google had not caved in and insisted China change its ways, I would have considered it more evil. They just obeyed the local law; if you want to blame anyone, blame China.
    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Friday April 13, 2007 @09:32PM (#18727551)
      ... "Do no evil?"

      Stop crying about it. This is yesterday's news, as we know all corporations are evil by definition.

      The new rage is corporations which are open to how evil they are, such as Microsoft's new slogan for 2008 "We're evil", and Yahoo's campaign "Tell us how we can be evil for you today", trying to tighten Yahoo's communication with their users.

      Google is also planning a new PR image, but since it would be quite shocking to their existing fans, the search engine plants a gradual transition, where they will change their slogan every month such as "Evil 5%", "Evil 10%", "Evil 15%" until they reach 100%.
  • by spyrochaete (707033) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:06PM (#18726185) Homepage Journal
    I sincerely hope Google will simply replace all DoubleClick-crippled sites with AdSense. DoubleClick's tracking cookies are the reason I block web ads.
    • by 42forty-two42 (532340) <bdonlan@@@gmail...com> on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:35PM (#18726585) Homepage Journal
      You do know that adsense keeps tracking cookies too, right?
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        So does every advertising network. It's great for targeting ads so when you visit a site you don't see (if you're a guy) tampon ads, you only see ads relevant to the sites you visit regularly. Personally I'm a fan of them considering they're not really tracking anything I care about, and I don't really like seeing ads for things like tampons.
        • by sidb (530400)
          I block tracking cookies, and I don't see ads for tampons. In fact, I don't see any ads at all, because I block them, too.
          • by geekoid (135745)
            But some how, Googled managed to get ads that are actually relevent, and sometimes helpfull.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 13, 2007 @08:23PM (#18727013)
      Um, might want to know more about how ad sense works then before making that statement.

      Doubleclick operated under the '3rd party' cookie system. Sites hosted thier cookies, and users of modern browsers had the ability to decide, or 'opt in' to being tracked by third party cookies. Of course, most browsers by default blocked them, and life was good.

      Google ad sense operates on a different level...using cookies is just part of the game. Via IP pingbacks, toolbar tracking, and account identification, users may unkowningly be giving out alot more data than they realize.

      Say for instance that you use Gmail. or any Google service that requires login. Google can track you via that login to each site you visit that has a google ad (70% of the net from what I understand). See, doubleclick never had this part of the equation...they never had account info. Google can tie your IPs, usernames, email content, and web browsing activity...and you can't do jack about it (short of blocking the google scripts themselves).

      Even without login account info, Google has the ability to track your individual machine via IP pingbacks. If you nav to page one, the google ad gets your exposed ip, then the next page you visit that has a google ad...yep..that ip is used to track that navigation. No cookie needed. Of course, if your behind a firewall, only the firewall ip would get exposed. But still...do you really want to give anyone that much information about you?
  • by bugnuts (94678) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:10PM (#18726245) Journal
    Gootube was easy.....

    Doogleclick?

    Doobleclick?

    Goobleclick?

    Youtoogleclick?
  • "Don't Be Evil?" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ewhac (5844) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:13PM (#18726299) Homepage Journal
    Great. Now which of the myriad of Google's cookies will I need to block?

    Schwab

  • by mauledbydogs (853179) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:22PM (#18726405)
    Ok - so maybe that's harsh. But $3.1billion for the company? That provides a technology Google have already? I'm sure the decision makers over there know a lot more than me (hell, I've been drinking for the last eight hours) - but key Doubleclick partners (such as News Corp) aren't going to be too hot on Google suddenly knowing their ad business inside out. This smacks of splashing the cash to kill competition - had Microsoft picked up Doubleclick, that would have presented a serious challenge to Google's display ad syndication business.
    • by Araxen (561411) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:27PM (#18726479)
      3.1 Billion or let Microsoft automatically become the #2(Maybe #1?) On-line advertising service on the Internet? Which do you think Google is going to choose?
      • by coredog64 (1001648) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:55PM (#18726787)
        Microsoft bidding on DoubleClick brings to mind the following joke:

        A duck hunter is out early one morning hunting ducks. He's not having a lot of luck and he's about ready to pack it in and go home.
        Then he catches a break and shoots a duck. The duck falls to the ground on the other side of a fence. He hops the fence to grab the duck
        and a farmer appears from nowhere and asks "What are you doing with my duck?" The hunter says "That's my duck! I shot it." The farmer replies "Doesn't matter -- it's on my land. But I'll tell you what. We'll take turns kicking each other in the nuts as hard as we can until one of us gives up. The winner keeps the duck. Oh, and I kick first." So the farmer winds up and kicks the hunter square in the nuts. The pain is so awful the hunter throws up and then collapses. 10 minutes later, he tentatively gets to his feet and says "Okay, my turn." To which the farmer replies "That's okay, you can keep the duck."

        I have a sneaking suspicion Microsoft wasn't that interested in DoubleClick. But they wanted to make damn sure that Google overpaid for it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by hostyle (773991)
      Drinking for eight hours and still spelling perfectly? You, sir, are a fibber!
  • by stereoroid (234317) on Friday April 13, 2007 @07:22PM (#18726411) Homepage Journal
    Here you go [blogspot.com]. The PDF FAQ they put there confirms the terms: $3.1 billion. Apart from that, I second/third/fourth the previous comments: zero impact here, DoubleClick has been on my blacklist for years now, by any means available.
    • I keep seeing comments about doubleclick being blocked. So? You account for such a small portion of the userbase why would google care? They didn't buy doubleclick for the domain or technology anyway, they bought it for the customers. Most likely they'll convert all of their doubleclick accounts to google ads, which far fewer people block. They also bought it to be a cock block against other companies trying to get to the #1 position of internet advertising.
  • I would just to point out that the paltry amount which would bring that $3.1 billion from "almost double" to actually double is $200 million dollars. That just plain sucks.

    Goddamn corporations and their stock, even if it is Google.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 13, 2007 @08:03PM (#18726849)
    :)
  • haha (Score:5, Funny)

    by Traa (158207) on Friday April 13, 2007 @08:11PM (#18726911) Homepage Journal
    You think you are in pain for having to swallow that our great Google bought doubleclick?

    Ha, you could imagine it like this: The people at doubleclick just got paid 3.1 BILLION dollars.

    By Google.

    Have a great weekend.
  • Strategy? (Score:2, Interesting)

    This may have been part of a strategy to make sure that nobody else bought DoubleClick first. The last thing Google wants is for Microsoft to try to take over their most profitable field. Even if Google never touches DoubleClick's materials after this, they don't have to worry about someone else having that "advantage" over Google.
  • ..with that?

    I don't even know what 3 billion dollars is. the number is too mind bogglingly big.

    what good things ('do no evil', huh?) could have been better accomplished rather than put so much money into an advertising firm's pocket?

  • Did anyone stop and think Google is not interested in being evil like Doubleclick?
    From the article:

    The sale offers Google access to DoubleClick's advertisement software and, more importantly, its relationships with Web publishers, advertisers and advertising agencies.

    It also gives Google access to the data that Doubleclick has acquired. Doubleclick will probably be no more and merge into Google's Adsense.
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      Yes, but that doesn't stop the previous owners from being evil. It does, however, give them 3.1 billion dollars with which to continue being evil.

      I think it's fairly obvious that Google can de-evil Doubleclick if they want to. I think it's also fairly obvious that it won't happen overnight, and that entire time Google will not be following its slogan.
  • Imagine the targeted tracking they can do by correlating your Google Searches with Doubleclick targeted advertising! I know we regularly threaten to do this and never mean it, but how are the other search engines these days? (Don't say Clusty.com: I tried them and linking to the 'wayback machine' doesn't qualify as [Cache])
  • The Official FAQ for the announcement [216.239.57.110] claims that they did this because "Our goal is to make advertising on the internet work better: better for users with less intrusive ads and better privacy protection, better for advertisers with greater accountability and effectiveness, and better for publishers with improved monetization and cleaner site integration." In other words, they thought DoubleClick was intrusive, but they're too nice to say it.
  • With a stock price above $450, [marketwatch.com] Google needs to start making a lot of money to keep the shareholders happy
  • by heretic108 (454817) on Friday April 13, 2007 @09:47PM (#18727659)
    ..."Advertise no evil"

    Hope so. But then again, I hope for world peace as well.

  • Hosting (Score:3, Funny)

    by |/|/||| (179020) on Friday April 13, 2007 @10:46PM (#18728029)
    And when are they going to pay me? I've been hosting doubleclick for years.

    127.0.0.1 doubleclick.net

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