Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Google Deal Said to Bring U.S. Scrutiny

Posted by T. Michael Testi (Blogcritics.org , PhotographyToday, ATAEE)

From - New York Times

Written By STEVE LOHR

 

The Federal Trade Commission has opened a preliminary antitrust investigation into Google’s planned $3.1 billion purchase of the online advertising company DoubleClick, an industry executive briefed on the agency’s plans said yesterday.

The inquiry began at the end of last week, after it was decided that the Federal Trade Commission instead of the Justice Department would conduct the review, said the executive, who asked not to be identified because he had not been authorized to speak. The two agencies split the duties of antitrust enforcement.

An F.T.C. spokesman said yesterday that the agency did not comment on pending inquiries.

The deal, involving powerful forces in their respective niches of the online advertising business, prompted privacy advocates and competitors to raise concerns after it was announced last month. Those concerns and the deal’s size made a preliminary investigation all but certain, according to antitrust experts.

The F.T.C. has also issued Google a detailed list of questions, the industry executive said. This step, known as a "second request" for information, can suggest that a proposed acquisition raises more serious antitrust issues. But legal experts said the request is mainly a sign that the agency is closely scrutinizing the Google deal. Read more...

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