The EU is reportedly planning to approve Google's $3.1 billion acquisition of online advertising powerhouse DoubleClick. Though the Commission gave itself an April 2 deadline, approval is expected to come as early as next Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.com.
The EU decision comes on the heels of the US Federal Trade Commission's approval this past December. This will come as unwelcome news to Microsoft, which has been complaining about the potential for Google to gain monopoly status in the online advertising market. The company said last year that the acquisition would provide bring 80 percent of the market under Google's control. Last year, Microsoft acquired DoubleClick competitor aQuantive for $6 billion.
Another concern of both Microsoft and EU Commissioners has been the question of privacy with the combination of Google and DoubleClick's massive databases. But with the EU apparently set to approve the acquisition unconditionally, those fears have either been alleviated or will go unanswered for the time being.
The news gave Google a slight boost in stock prices today, which have declined in recent months over reports of a slowdown in growth on clicks for their internet ads.