Ad Acquisitions of 3 Biggest Search Engines's Under FTC's Scanner

Jun 22, 2007 | 3,002 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Last month, it was news about Google Inc put under the FTC scanner, when news broke that the Federal Trade commission “opened a preliminary antitrust investigation into Google’s planned $3.1 billion purchase of the online advertising company DoubleClick.”

In the middle of May, news broke of Yahoo! acquired RightMedia and Microsoft soon followed with their purchase of Aquantive For $649 Million! just a few weeks later.

mag1 Ad Acquisitions of 3 Biggest Search Enginess Under FTCs ScannerThis month, the FTC will “review Yahoo and Microsoft ad deals; acquisitions will be scrutinized along with Google-DoubleClick”, reports AdAge.

  1. "That the FTC would handle Microsoft's proposed $6 billion acquisition of aQuantive and Yahoo's $680 million purchase of the 80% of Right Media….. The FTC or the Department of Justice reviews virtually every major transaction, part of what is called the Hart-Scott-Rodino process. In some cases, they issue a "second request" for more information — meaning they will take a much deeper look into the acquisition. "

The FTC's decision arose after the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and American Association of Advertising Agencies wrote a letter to both the Department of Justice and the FTC to take "careful, wide-ranging and comprehensive perspective" of the mergers.

The letter goes forth to say, "During the past month, there have been several major acquisition announcements in the online-advertising marketplace. These mergers, if approved, certainly would change the online-advertising marketplace. As such, those proposed combinations deserve careful scrutiny. It is essential to ensure that none of these combinations restrict competition in the internet-advertising marketplace. Advertising on the internet is one of the fastest-growing sectors of marketplace promotion; therefore, ensuring its competitiveness is critical for all participants." Further it adds, "In evaluating all the acquisitions, the commission will need to determine the markets in which the companies are operating. It's not clear whether the FTC will consider only online, third-party display advertising or the much broader and bigger advertising market. FTC hearings are closed to the public and often require laborious information gathering on behalf of the companies making the acquisitions."

Regarding the Google review, "The agency already has issued a second request to Google in response to its $3.1 billion bid for DoubleClick. "

A Microsoft spokesperson told that the review was "part of the normal regulatory review process" and said Microsoft submitted a routine filing under the federal rules that give regulators authority to review large mergers during 30-day periods. The investigation differs from the FTC's "second review" or current investigation into Google's acquisition of DoubleClick, according the spokesperson who refused to comment further.

Not to be left behind, WPP too took the plunge and scooped up RealMedia 24/7 for $649 million. So far, there is no news on whether the FTC will also review their case.

For more, watch this space.

4.thumbnail Ad Acquisitions of 3 Biggest Search Enginess Under FTCs Scanner

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Ad Acquisitions of 3 Biggest Search Enginess Under FTCs Scanner
4.thumbnail Ad Acquisitions of 3 Biggest Search Enginess Under FTCs Scanner