John Battelle, chairman of Federated Media and renowned Google watcher, is claiming that not only was Microsoft interested in DoubleClick, but apparently the advertising giant shunned a better deal from Microsoft and decided to accept Google’s offer regardless. If this is true, Microsoft's calls to the US government to scrutinize the Google/DoubleClick deal were quite understandable. Battelle writes, "This raises a very important question - why didn't Microsoft match Google's $3.1 billion offer. Smith would not comment on this, but I can report from very good sources that in fact the company did offer to match it, and was willing to pay even more to insure that Google did not corner the online ad market. But for whatever reasons, the private equity firm that owned the majority of DoubleClick's shares decided to go with Google."
Battelle's sources are anonymous, and so for now this must all remain unconfirmed. He's certainly right about one thing: Microsoft has the money, and could have easily afforded to beat Google's offer. This was an all-cash deal with Google, perhaps Microsoft would only offer a mixed stock/cash deal? Unless there is increased government scrutiny of the deal, we may never know how this deal went down exactly. What does Neowin think, why did the owners of DoubleClick choose Google over Microsoft?
News source: Ars Technica