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A click away from world domination?

Steve Henn Sep 27, 2007

A click away from world domination?

Steve Henn Sep 27, 2007


Lisa Napoli: Later today on Capitol Hill, a Senate subcommittee hears testimony about the proposed $3.1 billion merger of Google and DoubleClick. Privacy advocates and anti-trust officials the world over have been looking at this deal. Marketplace’s Steve Henn has this preview:

Steve Henn: What happens if you cross Google with DoubleClick? Could a “GoobleClick” destroy competition on the Internet?

Scott Cleland thinks so:

Scott Cleland: This merger really is different.

Cleland is a tech-analyst, and an expert witness at today’s Senate hearing.

Cleland: It’s the most far-reaching, least understood, most important merger they’ve ever reviewed.

Why? Cleland says market power and privacy. The combined company would dominate Internet search and display ads. And:

Cleland: Google-DoubleClick would have more private information on more individuals in the world than any company or any entity in the history of the world.

But Tom Lenard at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a right-leaning think tank, is unmoved.

Tom Lenard: The use of personal information to deliver advertising and marketing messages is good for consumers.

He says the more Google knows about you, the more well-suited the ads it puts before your eyeballs are. And really, what’s wrong with that?

In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

Napoli: And one bit more about Google’s world domination. The Financial Times said this morning the company’s going to increase its staff by a third — much of it in Europe.

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