EU: Microsoft's Last Stand Against Google's Acquisition of DoubleClick

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As we reported December 20, the last hurdle to Google’s acquisition of Doubleclick now rests with the European Union after obtaining approval for the merger in the United States.

One company petitioning against the acquisition is Microsoft. The NY Times has a copy of a leaked Microsoft document here (.doc) that details in dot points the case against the acquisition. One choice quote:

By acquiring the dominant provider of ad-serving tools that publishers use to manage and make their inventory available to advertisers, Google will force other online ad networks to build and market their own ad-serving tools. Unless and until Google’s competitors are able to obtain access to competitively neutral and unbiased ad-serving tools like those currently provided by DoubleClick, the ability of Google’s rivals to create viable alternative pipelines will be very difficult, if possible at all. Moreover, by the time competitors are able to assemble their own pipelines, given the network economics that characterize online advertising, Google likely will have obtained in non-search advertising the same unbeatable market position that it now enjoys in search advertising.

And then there’s the Powerpoint slides. Here’s Microsoft’s case in pictures:

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As Erick previously noted: “The European Commission won’t bow out so easily.” The EU has a much stronger track record against anti-competitive behavior that the FTC has under the Bush Administration, and with Microsoft spending time and money lobbying against the deal it would a brave person who bets that Google is assured of getting unconditional approval for the acquisition.

(slides via Slashdot)

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