FTC Clears Google-DoubleClick Deal

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission gave the okay to Google’s planned $3.1 billion acquisition of online ad-server DoubleClick.

With the decision, the commission signaled no competitive conflict with the combination of the two businesses—Google’s text-based ad sales and DoubleClick’s business of delivering and reporting on display ads.

"The FTC's strong support sends a clear message: this acquisition poses no risk to competition and will benefit consumers," Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt said in a statement.

The deal, which was struck in April, still needs to get stamped by the European Commission before it can close. It already has clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and has been recommended for approval by one of three Brazilian regulatory agencies.

"We hope that the European Commission will soon reach the same conclusion, and we are confident that this deal will deliver more relevant ads for consumers, more choices for advertisers, and more opportunities for website publishers," Schmidt added.

The sector has seen plenty of acquisition activity, including the Yahoo purchase of Right Media, AOL’s buy of Adtech and Tacoda, WPP’s acquisition of 24/7 Real Media and Microsoft’s purchase of aQuantive and AdECN. 

On Wednesday Microsoft announced a five-year digital distribution and advertising sales deal with Viacom, which is suing Google for $1 billion for copyright infringement.

Google is buying DoubleClick in a cash deal from private equity firms Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity and management.