Chapell & Associates

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Privacy, Online Advertising, and Consolitation...

Yesterday the NY Times discusses the FTC's preliminary investigation into Google's proposed purchase of DoubleClick.

I don't see this investigation going anywhere. Whether there is an antitrust issue will hinge on the definition of the relevant market. If the relevant market is the ONLINE advertising market, then I think the merger may be in trouble. However, if its defined as the advertising market, (as I believe it will be) then this deal has little risk of not moving forward.

Having said that, the level of consolidation in the online advertising space has been nothing short of amazing. For the sake of comparison, think about how long it took the U.S. auto industry to consolidate into the three major U.S. automakers.

If the 2008 election ushers a Democrat into the White House, (fingers crossed) we'll likely have a significantly more active FTC on issues of privacy. Until then, we're looking at more Laissez-faire.

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posted by Alan on Tuesday, May 29, 2007

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