Google, Microsoft execs to testify on DoubleClick deal

Executives from Google and Microsoft are scheduled to testify before a Senate panel this week on the search engine company's planned US$3.1 billion acquisition of online advertising company DoubleClick.

In prepared testimony already posted online, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, says Google's acquisition of DoubleClick will benefit consumers, promote free speech and help in the success of small businesses. Drummond is due to testify before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Poicy and Consumer Rights.

"In our experience, our users value the advertisements that we deliver along with search results and other Web content because the ads help connect them to the information, products, and services they seek," the testimony stated.

Drummond says offering information to consumers in the form of relevant advertising is useful because it complements the subjects of their searches.

Drummond also says Google is confident that its purchase of DoubleClick doesn't raise antitrust issues because the two companies don't compete with each other, and are complementary businesses.

"DoubleClick does not buy ads, sell ads, or buy or sell advertising space," he says in his testimony. "All it does is provide the technology to enable advertisers and publishers to deliver ads once they have come to terms, and provide advertisers and publishers statistics relating to the ads."

He says Google's acquisition of DoubleClick doesn't stop other companies from continuing to compete in the online advertising market.

As to the issues raised by privacy groups, Drummond says Google believes in protecting the privacy of its users online and the company is working to update its privacy practices and policies, which he said does not begin and end with its purchase of DoubleClick.

"We make privacy a priority because our business depends on it," he says in the testimony. "If our users are uncomfortable with how we manage the information they provide to us, they are only one click away from switching to a competitor's services. User interests effectively regulate our behavior, and user trust is a critical component of our business model."

Microsoft, which opposes the deal, is also bringing out its big gun to testify.

"If Google and DoubleClick are allowed to merge, Google will become the overwhelmingly dominant pipeline for all forms of online advertising," said Brad Smith, Microsoft's senior vice president and general counsel says in prepared testimony.

While the merger will result in higher profits for Google, it will be bad for everyone else, including publishers, advertisers and users, because it will reduce competition, Smith says in his testimony.

Smith also questions the antitrust and privacy issues of giving Google sole control over what he says is the largest database of user data in the world. "Online ads are served based on user data. As consumers we give up this data - though often without knowing it - in exchange for access to free content and services," he said. "... [W]ith this merger, Google seeks to record almost everything you see and do on the Internet and use that information to target ads. One question is whether this merger will create a whole new meaning to the term "being googled."

In his blog, Scott Cleland, president of Precursor, and who is also due to testify this week, points to a recent antitrust analysis of the proposed merger that seems to discredit Google's defense that the two companies are not competitors.

Cleland said the study suggests that DoubleClick customers think Google and DoubleClick compete against each other. The study is titled "An Antitrust Analysis of Google's Proposed Acquisition of DoubleClick," by Robert Hahn, director of the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, and Hal Singer, president of Criterion Economics.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?