On Friday, Google announced its plans to acquire DoubleClick for $3.1 billion beating the competition, which included Microsoft, Time Warner, and Yahoo. But now Microsoft, AT&T, Time Warner, and other Internet and media companies are publicly opposing the deal and encouraging antitrust regulators to take action to prevent it from happening.
The numbers being thrown around point to Google and DoubleClick handling more than 80% of ads on third-party websites. But the irony is that no one seems to care what the numbers would have been had Microsoft purchased DoubleClick: perhaps not 80% but a high percentage nonetheless.
That’s why it’s hard for me to take Microsoft’s anti-competitive concerns seriously (well, that and Microsoft’s track record of being on the side it’s now so ready to oppose). Call me a cynic, but I’m not convinced that these companies are opposing this deal for idealistic reasoning such as “protect the consumer, competition is good.” It’s more likely a self-preservation reaction that helps further their own agendas.
But I suppose I can’t blame them for doing what they’re paid to do. Here’s Brad Smith, Microsoft general coun