EU expected to OK Google's US$3.1B acquisition of DoubleClick

Approval likely next week, sources tell Reuters

The European Union is expected to give the thumbs up to Google's US$3.1 billion takeover of online advertising company DoubleClick, according to a report Thursday from the Reuters news service.

Citing people familiar with the situation, Reuters said the approval is expected to come next week.

The approval has been expected because the European Commission, the competition watchdog for the EU, said in January it would not formally oppose the deal.

Privacy groups have objected to the deal, saying it would substantially reduce competition.

The EC, however, has said it has no authority to consider privacy issues in mergers.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved the merger in December. According to Reuters, the EU has never rejected a merger approved by U.S. authorities.

The takeover is one of several recent mergers in the online advertising marketing.

Microsoft bought aQuantive for US$6 billion last year; Yahoo acquired BlueLithium for US$300 million and AOL bought Tacoda, a company that uses behavioral targeting technology, for an undisclosed sum.

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