We would be disappointed in 2008-2009 if we don’t have a very significant position in the display-ad marketplace.
Looks like Google’s informal corporate motto, “Don’t Be Evil,” was assurance enough for the European regulators reviewing the company’s proposed merger with online ad-serving vendor DoubleClick.
The European Commission this morning approved Google’s (GOOG) $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick, clearing the way for the unprecedented combination of their advertising services, as well as their vast troves of data about consumer behavior on the Internet.
In a statement, the EC said the deal would be unlikely to have harmful effects on consumers and can proceed without conditions. “The Commission found that the merged entity would not have the ability to engage in strategies aimed at marginalizing Google’s competitors, mainly because of the presence of credible ad-serving alternatives to which customers (publishers/advertisers/ad networks) can switch, in particular vertically integrated companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL,” the EC explained. “The market investigation also found that the merged entity would not have the incentive to close off access for competitors in the ad-serving market, mainly because such strategies would be unlikely to be profitable.”
Less than two hours after the EU granted its approval, Google announced that the deal had closed. Google CEO Eric Schmidt declared himself “thrilled.” As well he should be: Shares of Google, which have lately been trading down, were up by as much as $18 this morning, or more than 4%, at about $431.