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EU Approves Google-DoubleClick Merger 78

Posted by kdawson
from the think-before-you-click dept.
A number of readers sent word that EU regulators have cleared the Google-DoubleClick deal. "The commission said Google and DoubleClick 'were not exerting major competitive constraints on each other's activities and could, therefore, not be considered as competitors,' and even if DoubleClick could become an effective competitor in online intermediation services, 'it is likely that other competitors would continue to exert sufficient competitive pressure after the merger.'"
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EU Approves Google-DoubleClick Merger

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  • I wonder how much that trick cost Google?

    Apparently politicians over there are for sale as well. How could this NOT be anti-competitive?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I wonder how much that trick cost Google?

      Apparently politicians over there are for sale as well. How could this NOT be anti-competitive?
      Probably quite a bit with the recent decline in the value of the dollar. I'm pretty sure that European politicians are only bribeable in Euros.
      • by scubamage (727538) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:29PM (#22720974)
        Nothing. Google's primary business is still being a search engine. Doubleclick is an advertising framework and analytics (hence google wanting to acquire it). Search engine != advertising framework. Therefore they don't compete. Funny how things work just like they're supposed to sometimes.
        • Google's primary business is still being a search engine.

          "For the 2006 fiscal year, the company reported US$10.492 billion in total advertising revenues and only US$112 million in licensing and other revenues."

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google#Advertising [wikipedia.org]
          http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1288776/000119312507044494/d10k.htm [sec.gov]

  • Considering that Google is based in the USA, is there any reason why they would even need the EU's approval for something like this? Perhaps the article could clear that up. I'll go check that righ--oh, wait....
    • Re:Globalization (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geminidomino (614729) * on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:26PM (#22720926) Journal

      Considering that Google is based in the USA, is there any reason why they would even need the EU's approval for something like this?
      Point about the article being nonexistent notwithstanding, the answer is that they don't technically *need* the EU's approval, except that they would probably like to actually do business IN the EU
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dr. Eggman (932300)
        It exists from the firehose submission [www.cbc.ca]. Pilot error, it seems.
      • by Ngarrang (1023425)

        Considering that Google is based in the USA, is there any reason why they would even need the EU's approval for something like this?

        Point about the article being nonexistent notwithstanding, the answer is that they don't technically *need* the EU's approval, except that they would probably like to actually do business IN the EU

        But, Google never has to step physically into Europe for anything. It is just data across some tubes. If the EU Commission had said no, could they really stop the merger? European companies would be told, "Don't buy from Google-Click or else"? As if all internet servers for European companies are even hosted in Europe?

        • Re:Globalization (Score:4, Insightful)

          by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:44PM (#22721180) Journal

          But, Google never has to step physically into Europe for anything. It is just data across some tubes.
          Google has local offices across the world.
          Or do you really think they coordinate advertising in England from California?

          If the EU Commission had said no, could they really stop the merger? European companies would be told, "Don't buy from Google-Click or else"? As if all internet servers for European companies are even hosted in Europe?
          If [company] went ahead with a non-EU regulator approved merger, I imagine the regulators would start fining [company] for whatever reason they turned down the merger.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nbert (785663)
          In addition (to what TubeSteak already said) google is way too big and very present on the European market. To give a counter-example: Facebook used to be quite safe from EU regulations, because even though they had many registered users in the EU they were operating solely from the US. And since their service is "for free" there was no money trail to go for. However, this changed recently: They now have venues in the UK and Germany (and Spain IIRC).

          A company has to obey the laws in the countries they do
        • Re:Globalization (Score:4, Interesting)

          by oliderid (710055) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:23PM (#22721614) Journal
          Google is currently building a big Data Center here in Belgium($340 million).

          for more info
          http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2007/Apr/27/google_data_center_project_in_belgium.html [datacenterknowledge.com]

          And it looks like it is just the beginning of their European investment.

    • by mr_death (106532)
      The EU loves to meddle with US Companies, and impose their bizzare form of competition (to a USian) on foreigners. Recent victims include Boeing, Microsoft, and Honeywell.

      The pace of this meddling is accellerating; it may be time for the US to engage in a little tit-for-tat to show the Eurocrats the error of their ways.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nevali (942731)
        Such a huge amount of uninformed claptrap in such a short post.

        It's really simple: if companies don't want to be bound by EU laws and regulators, don't do business here. Seriously, you're all more than welcome to boycott the EU if you think that's a preferable option. Mind you, nobody listens when people complain about US companies doing business in China--which has, in real terms, far more black marks against it than the EU--so it's unlikely that US companies will boycott a massively lucrative market any t
        • by mr_death (106532)
          It's not regulation that is the problem, it is the extra-territorial jurisdiction asserted by the EU over US companies. For example, when Boeing acquired McDonnell Douglas, the EU required that Boeing scrap its already-signed exclusive contracts with US airlines (Delta, American.) These contracts were legal between two US companies, yet the EU meddled with them -- allegedly for competition reasons, but it was really done to give another bit of the apple to the EU's favorite subsidy child, Airbus.

          If you thin
          • Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) is a United States airline[1]. Delta operates an expansive domestic and international network, spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

            If you fly to Europe, you do business in Europe, your subjected to European regulations.

            Its not a trade war, the EU just believes that companies should be regulated, something America clearly believes in too (or are you going to argue against minimum wage & for monopolies). Its just that the EU sets a bar that benefits its citizens ( customers) more than it benefits the owners of companies.

  • has anyone done any analysis on how the merger will impact current adsense publishers? Will they be able to take advantage of dc services?
  • And my google stock has just gone up 20$, and I can only expect it'll keep going up. Thanks for Christmas in march EU :D
    • by vux984 (928602)
      At last check it was +26$.

      On a 439$ stock though that is around 6%, which while impressive is less exciting than $26 originally sounds. Especially as google has slid $300 (41%) from its peak $747 last november. More importantly, its still well below all its moving averages, even if you factor out the last 6 or so months entirely.

      For you to be excited I can only speculate that you -just- bought in yesterday? Because anyone who bought the stock in most of the last 2 years and is still holding it is probably s
      • by scubamage (727538)
        haha, actually I bought in at around 450 around a year ago, and I wanted to bang my head off the wall when I saw it had slipped to 413 (especially after it being at 750 or so). I'm excited that the whole doubleclick thing is going on in general though... it really can't be a bad thing for google because their revenue stream just got much, much more massive. Buy and hold for now... google is a powerhouse company and is well managed... i'm just excited about the whole doubleclick thing. If microsoft's numbers
  • Nice link (Score:5, Informative)

    by _xeno_ (155264) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:33PM (#22721024) Homepage Journal

    So the article is at ... uh, nowhere. The source reveals the link to be: <a>

    Great.

    Thankfully we have the Firehose submission [slashdot.org], which contains the actual link [www.cbc.ca].

    So I guess the theory behind subscriptions is that subscribers are paying to catch mistakes like that? :P

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:49PM (#22721210) Homepage Journal
    I publish AdSense on one of my websites. One of the things I've always valuable about it over competing ad programs is that it doesn't cookie my visitors for tracking purposes.

    But the new Terms and Conditions [google.com], to which all publishers must agree to remain in the program, now requires:

    You must have and abide by an appropriate privacy policy that clearly discloses that third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your users' browser, or using web beacons to collect information, in the course of ads being served on your website. Your privacy policy should also include information about user options for cookie management.

    That just plain sucks.

    (A web beacon is also known as a web page; it's a small, invisible graphic placed in the page for tracking purposes.)

    However, I'm hoping that a silver lining might be that, if advertising is made more effective by tracking, us publishers might get paid more. But I'm not counting on it.

    • I shouldn't drink and post.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by scubamage (727538)
      In theory it can only help you as an advertiser. By using the beacon, google's robotic voodoo machine can figure out what kinds of stuff a visitor is most likely to click on when he or she visits your site, thus increasing the liklihood of a successful click and maybe even some purchases. The only people who really lose are privacy purists who are terrified that cookies = virii (a common misconception). The fundamental flaw with that logic is of course that to google and other advertisers, you are a potenti
      • by scubamage (727538) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:06PM (#22721400)
        Forgot to mention, while tracking is a valid concern for end users who are worried about anonymity, again, this really will be a boon to anyone who uses adsense.
        • by rtaylor (70602)
          Besides, Google already knows everywhere you go and everything you do anyway through all of their other data acquisition methods. They collect enough to determine which referrals are real and which are fake, paying accordingly.
      • by Omestes (471991)
        The only people who really lose are privacy purists who are terrified that cookies = virii (a common misconception).

        That is a strawman. I keep my cookies pretty clean, the only ones that stay at the end of the week are services with logins, which actually serve me in some way. I know cookies are not viruses (virii isn't a word), but they are put on my computer without my permission, and without telling me what their purpose might be. This is my computer, with my HDD in it, running my browser, via my inte
  • I currently block cookies from Double-Click and accept cookies from Google. I'd rather not choose another search engine and quit g-mail, but this may be the best choice. What should I do?
    • by xaxa (988988)
      Check your email with a mail client if you have to, and block the cookies.
    • by raynet (51803)
      Why not block all cookies? And if that kills gmail, begin using it via IMAP-SSL or something.
    • by Carewolf (581105)
      I block cookies from both double-click and from Google adsense, I can still use GMail just fine. You just have to refine the cookie block a little.
  • The day that 'Do No Evil' officially died for good.
  • ...that this means Google can fix some of the horrible code/server issues DoubleClick seems to bring with it. A toast, in hopes that soon I won't have to wait thirty seconds while my Firefox window says "Waiting for doubleclick.com" at the bottom. ::salud::
    • I never have to wait for doubleclick.net in Firefox....

      setting doubleclick.net to 127.0.0.1 in HOSTS works wonders...speeds things up too.
    • Double Click (at least before Google got them), and heaped tons of disparagement upon the entity, i know the have some quite intelligent people there. One of my friends is there. i'm not saying (rather, not asserting that) the hiring process there is as tough as it is at Google...

      i hope D/C becomes one of those companies i can gladly remove from my firewall/blocker. But, it used to be that on Comcast, EVERY site i traversed to having D/C cookies took fracking forEVER to load. Now, tho the SFPL has Comcast,
  • Does it bother anyone else that government is so deeply involved in the dealings with 2 private entities?
    • by PhxBlue (562201)
      No. You haven't tried buying or selling a house lately, have you?
      • by youngdev (1238812)
        I bought a house in 2005 and I didn't like the fat proctologist fingers then either. Just because government has monopoly on the use of force doesn't mean there is a blank check to police every aspect of our lives. I, for one, am sick to death of all the Womb-to-Tomb treatment our government seems to be dishing out. Whatever happened to rugged individualism and the ability to charge whatever you want for your services with the only price control being supply and demand? My dad used to tell this same jok
        • by PhxBlue (562201)

          Whatever happened to rugged individualism and the ability to charge whatever you want for your services with the only price control being supply and demand?

          It never existed, at least not in the United States. The more common term for what you're describing -- albeit under more extreme circumstances -- is "price gouging." Yes, government sucks ... but in a lot of cases (air traffic control comes to mind because Ronald Reagan used the same joke your dad used to tell), lack of government is even worse.

          D

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by WaZiX (766733)

          the ability to charge whatever you want for your services with the only price control being supply and demand

          There are natural flaws in the market such as asymmetric information, moral hazard, adverse selection, collusion, monopolies, etc... The ridiculous stance that is getting more and more popular these days (Ron Paul, etc... ) to adhere to the principles of the capitalism and the free market without acknowledging its fundamental flaws is astonishing to me.

          The economics and more specifically the political economics are more and more being shifted from science to philosophy if not ideology; as sound as it is

    • Does it bother anyone else that government is so deeply involved in the dealings with 2 private entities?

      Frankly, it bothers me much more how the US government is so deeply involved in trampling on the rights of individuals.

  • Is there a link to this anywhere? A quick search of google news returns only a link to this /. entry. Are there any real-world references to this? Sorry, but news doesn't originate at /., it is merely reposted here, and pardon me, but I'm not inclined to trust anything I find posted here without a reference to an actual news outlet - kdawson is particularly known for journalistic integrity.

  • http://www.google.com/dclk/messages [google.com]

    Not that it says much, but from the horse's mouth so to speak.
  • i think that government organizations should have to approve all decisions. for example, you're on the road, and there's a restroom coming up in 5 miles. you don't really need to use a restroom that badly at the moment, but you're not sure if it's a good idea to stop anyway, or just go another 50 miles down the road to the next restroom. you decide to stop. since this is a decision, what you need to do at this point is fill out 10,000 pages of paperwork to send to a special government agency that approves o
  • understand that more than just a few of us blackhole doubleclick.net for a plethora of reasons, and keeps doubleclick stuff on doubleclick's networks, it's fine with me.

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