Internet Expert Recommends Blocking Google-DoubleClick Merger to Prevent an Online Advertising Bottleneck

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Merger Would Enable an Extreme New "Web of Market Power."

The combined Google-DoubleClick would have no effective checks and balances and little accountability to consumers, competition, regulators, or third-party oversight

Precursor President Scott Cleland testified today before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights and recommended the panel oppose the proposed Google-DoubleClick merger. In his testimony, Cleland explained that the Google-DoubleClick merger would create extreme market concentration and "tip" the online advertising market, the economically critical market which is the only proven monetization engine of Internet content, to a bottleneck.

"This merger review is a watershed moment for internet competition," Cleland said. "I believe Google-DoubleClick is clearly one of the most far-reaching, least-understood and important mergers this subcommittee has ever reviewed."

Explaining the high stakes of lax antitrust enforcement, Cleland stated the DoubleClick acquisition would enable Google to become the de facto:

  • "Online-advertising bottleneck provider", picking Internet content winners and losers;
  • "Ultimate Internet Gatekeeper", deciding which Internet content gets viewed;
  • "Internet's paymaster", determining which Web sites get paid how much; and
  • "Internet market maker" that has uniquely comprehensive market intelligence and information on advertisers, websites, ad-inventory, viewers, and Internet user behavior.

"The combined Google-DoubleClick would have no effective checks and balances and little accountability to consumers, competition, regulators, or third-party oversight," Cleland said.

Cleland released a report to the FTC and Congress in July that warned of the potential "Googleopoly"; the text of the report can be found at http://www.Googleopoly.net. Cleland's full Senate Judiciary Subcommittee testimony and charts will be made available on http://www.Googleopoly.net during Thursday's hearing.

Precursor is an industry research and consulting firm, specializing in the converging techcom sector. Precursor offers rare forward-looking expertise and national credibility at the nexus of: capital markets, public policy and techcom industry change, to help companies better capitalize on emerging opportunities and guard against emerging risks. http://www.precursor.com

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