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Senate reviews Google-DoubleClick deal

By Laurie Bennett

September 27, 2007 at 4:09pm

Execs from Google and Microsoft are scheduled to appear before the Senate today to argue the merits of Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick.

Google announced the $3.1 billion deal in April, but the plan requires approval of the Federal Trade Commission and regulators abroad.

As CNet notes today, this will be the first time that Congress has scrutinized the Internet behemoth. Microsoft, with years of experience in arguing antitrust issues, has mobilized a legion of lobbyists to block the deal, saying it would create an online advertising monopoly.

Consumer privacy groups have also raised concerns. Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, is scheduled to testify today as well. His group says the deal would give Google too much information about web users.

Google is expected to argue that it respects users’ privacy, and that its current business focuses on text-based advertising, while DoubleClick specializes in banners.

In his prepared testimony, released before the hearing, Google Senior VP David Drummond says Google and DoubleClick offer complementary services. “DoubleClick is to Google what FedEx or UPS is to Amazon.com,” he said.

Those of us who have been running Google AdSense banners for ages find this argument a bit puzzling.

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