Google DoubleClick merger gets go-ahead despite complaints from Yahoo and Microsoft

European regulators decide acquisition of the online ad network won't impede competition

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By  Quintin Smith Published  March 13, 2008

The European Commission has decided that Google’s planned $3.1 billion acquisition of online ad network DoubleClick will not impede competition, and can go ahead as planned.

The merger was already approved by US regulators in December.

The EC took longer with their announcement for reasons of privacy, as each company owns a substantial database of online user information that would be joined should the merger go ahead. Eventually it was decided that the issue was beyond the remit of the EC.

While Google’s share prices have fallen nearly 35% since last November, announcement of the ruling drove Google’s shares back up more than 6% to a closing price of $439.84.

Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, admits to possible downsizing in a post on the Official Google Blog: “As with most mergers, there may be reductions in headcount. We expect these to take place in the U.S. and possibly in other regions as well. We know that DoubleClick is built on the strength of its people. For this reason we’ll strive to minimize the impact of this process on all of our clients and employees.”

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