FTC Clears Google's Acquisition of DoubleClick

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has cleared Google Incorporated of its planned acquisition of DoubleClick Incorporated. In April 2007, the search giant announced plans to acquire the provider of display ad serving technology and services for $3.1 billion in cash from San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman along with JMI Equity and management. The acquisition was approved earlier this year by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and was recommended for approval by one of three Brazilian regulatory agencies. Google cannot close the acquisition until the European Commission, which is still examining the transaction, grants clearance of the deal.

The FTC explicitly rejected any current or potential competition concerns saying that the two companies run complementary businesses and do not compete with each other. Google's current business primarily involves the selling of text-based ads, while DoubleClick's core business is delivering and reporting on display ads. DoubleClick does not buy ads, sell ads, or buy or sell advertising space. Rather, it provides technology to enable advertisers and publishers to deliver ads once they have agreed to terms, and to provide advertisers and publishers statistics relating to those ads.

"The FTC's strong support sends a clear message: this acquisition poses no risk to competition and will benefit consumers. We hope that the European Commission will soon reach the same conclusion, and we are confident that this deal will deliver more relevant ads for consumers, more choices for advertisers, and more opportunities for website publishers," said Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google.

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