Google-DoubleClick Hearings Get Muddled

Google’s potential acquisition of DoubleClick is now under scrutiny by a U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, and based on yesterday’s hearing, the closing of this deal could still be a long way off. Senators are hearing conflicting and confusing testimony from Google, Microsoft, privacy advocates, and free-market thinkers, according to ClickZ News. The subcommittee’s decision may ultimately be determined by whether or not the companies are deemed competitors or complements.

Google’s lawyers argued that DoubleClick is complementary, potentially delivering ads that Google sells. Opponents pointed out that the companies compete for the same ad dollars and share the same viewers, advertisers, publishers and data.

While Google’s argument is not exactly accurate, given the fact that Google does deliver ads as well as sell them, the two companies are complementary, since they are delivering different kinds of ads, and serve different needs, for the most part. Besides its ad-serving business, DoubleClick also has other products for advertisers and publishers which Google does not offer.

Lots more coverage on Techmeme.

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