July 6, 2007

Probe into Google’s DoubleClick deal

by Jan Harris

Computers & Internet

A European consumer group, the Bureau Europien des Unions de Consommateurs, has written to the European Commissioning requesting an investigation into how Google Inc.’s proposed acquisition of online ad broker DoubleClick Inc would affect consumers.

The group believes the takeover could infringe privacy rights due to the large amounts of data the companies would hold.

Google acquired DoubleClick in April 2007 for $3.1bn. The company does not agree that the deal raises privacy issues.

Google believes the takeover will result in lower priced ad services for both publishers and advertisers, and the delivery of more relevant ads to users.

Google’s deal with DoubleClick is also under investigation in the US, where the Federal Trade Commission is looking at a complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

The groups have expressed concern about how Google will protect its data and users’ privacy.

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