Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Google snatches DoubleClick from Microsoft

Of course the big news story last week was Google's successful acquisition of Doubleclick for $1.3 billion. This was announced on Friday and completed several weeks of fevered speculation about who would win this battle, since Microsoft was also involved in the bidding.

DoubleClick has been around for years and is primarily an ad-serving software and management service, handling many of the display adverts seen on leading websites. Google has been dabbling with alternative advertising options beyond search but hasn't been keen to work with other companies in this area. That's what makes DoubleClick the perfect acquisition for them, giving them access to a leading online advertising service and also a huge amount of traffic data which can be combined with Google's own search behaviour information.

Perhaps just as importantly for Google is that it has kept DoubleClick away from Microsoft, who were first reported to be interested in buying the company. So as well as strenghtening Google's position in the online advertising market, the move has also weakened Microsoft's position in this sector, since they've now had their target purchase snatched away from them.

Notably, the massive cash purchase by Google was also twice as big as their earlier YouTube purchase and marks their biggest purchase yet. It further establishes them as a powerful online force, which may bring new benefits to the market but also raise more questions and concerns about the growing dominance of Google and their further move away from their core search platform.

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