Takes a Convicted Monopolist to Know One? Ha, Ha, Ha. You Google Guys Are a Real Laugh Riot
What a surprise. Microsoft is calling for regulators to scuttle Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick (see “Hello, Office Depot? Mr. Ballmer needs a new chair … yes, again.“). Apparently, forcing Google to overpay for the online advertising company didn’t quite take the sting out of losing the bidding war to its rival.
On April 15, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, urged regulators to stop Google from buying DoubleClick, arguing the acquisition would hurt competition in the online advertising market. “By putting together a single company that will control virtually the entire market … Google will control the economic fuel of the Internet,” he said. “This merger deserves close scrutiny from regulatory authorities to ensure a competitive online advertising market.”
It’s worth noting that Microsoft is not alone in calling for regulatory intervention here. Joining Redmond in its calls to halt the merger are consumer advocacy group Center for Digital Democracy and AT&T, which knows a thing or two about monopolies. “We think antitrust authorities should take a hard look at this deal and the implications,” Jim Cicconi, senior executive vice president for external affairs at AT&T, told the New York Times. “If any one company gets a hammerlock on the online advertising space, as Google seems to be trying to do, that is worrisome.”
Google executives dismiss such concerns. Said Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt: “We’ve studied this closely, and their claims, as stated are not true.”