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Google acquires Doubleclick
In 2007, Google announced that they agreed to acquire DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in cash (nearly double the size of their YouTube Acquisition). Microsoft was reportedly in a bidding war with Google for the company. As a result of the deal, Google gained access to DoubleClick’s advertising software and, perhaps more importantly, its relationships with web publishers, advertisers and advertising agencies. At least part of the acquisition price appears to be due to a desire by Google to keep this asset out of Microsoft’s hands.
DoubleClick, which was founded in 1996, provides display ads on Web sites like MySpace, The Wall Street Journal and America Online as well as software to help those sites maximize ad revenue. The company also helps ad buyers — advertisers and ad agencies — manage and measure the effectiveness of their rich media, search and other online ads.
In a 4-1 vote to close its eight-month investigation of the transaction, the Federal Trade Commission wrote in its majority statement [PDF] that "after carefully reviewing the evidence, we have concluded that Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick is unlikely to substantially lessen competition."
The Sherman Antitrust Act, the Federal_Trade_Commission, and the Clayton Act are antitrust regulation enabling the Commission to regulate mergers and acquisitions in general terms. Courts have the responsibility of deciding whether particular acquisitions violate federal law.
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