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April 13, 2007

Google Pays $3.1 Billion for DoubleClick


I don't know if there's a single ad blocker or cookie filtering program that doesn't include doubleclick.net in its black list. For me, DoubleClick is associated with ugly animated banners and tracking cookies. But since today, DoubleClick is a part of Google's empire and will help it expand in the display ads area, where Google failed to attract too many advertisers.

"Web advertising leader Google Inc. said on Friday it has agreed to acquire DoubleClick Inc., a top online advertising network, for $3.1 billion, beating out other major Internet players with its bid."

The major Internet player outbid by Google was Microsoft and that was probably the explanation for this huge value paid by Google for the largest and most ungoogly acquisition ever made.

"Acquiring DoubleClick expands Google's business far beyond algorithm-driven ad auctions into a relationship-based business with Web publishers and advertisers. (...) DoubleClick's exchange is different from the ad auctions that Google uses on its networks because the exchange is open to any Web publisher or ad network — not just the sites in Google’s network," notes New York Times.

But what is DoubleClick anyway?
DoubleClick is a provider of internet ad serving software. Its clients include agencies, marketers (Universal McCann Interactive, AKQA etc.) and publishers who service customers such as Microsoft, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Motorola, L'Oreal, Palm, Visa USA, Nike, Carlsberg and many more. (...)

DoubleClick was founded in 1995 as Internet Advertising Network by Kevin O'Connor and Dwight Merriman. DoubleClick was initially engaged in the online media business, meaning it helped web sites sell advertising to marketers. In 1997 the company began offering the online ad serving and management technology they had developed to other publishers as the DART services. During the internet downturn, DoubleClick divested its media business, and today DoubleClick is purely involved in ad management from the technology end — uploading ads and reporting on their performance. (...)

DoubleClick is sometimes linked with the controversy over spyware because browser cookies are set to track users as they travel from website to website and record what commercial advertisements they view and select while browsing. However, the company maintains that it is important to understand the difference between DoubleClick's ad serving tags and the spyware/adware companies.

Update. In Google's press release, Sergey Brin says:
"It has been our vision to make Internet advertising better - less intrusive, more effective, and more useful. Together with DoubleClick, Google will make the Internet more efficient for end users, advertisers, and publishers." And what about the lack of intrusiveness?

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