Google's conflict of interest : Trouble ahead in advertising?

After the European Commission gave Google the greenlight to complete the acquisition of ad serving giant Doubleclick, there are a few dissenting voices that point to a major conflict of interest at GoogleHQ.

Google, who is the owner of Doubleclick, also owns a little known company called Performics who is an expert in "Search Engine Marketing and Affiliate Marketing Strategies", something that Google has strongly rejected as being evil because such companies often use techniques to game search engine and promote their customers to search engine result pages on the basis for factors other than content or usefulness.

Searchengineland reckons that even if Google keeps Performics separate from its core operations, there would still be whispers that the two share a special bond.

The site also pointed to the strong belief within Google that results should be relevant, justified and unbiased, which has long been Google most important differentiating point and something that companies like Performics do not necessarily abide to.

Is Google finally dishing its "don't be evil" motto or are they going to close/sell Performics?

In other news, Google has announced that a new free service called Google Ad Manager (GAM) and is currently in Beta, Invite only mode.

GAM serves the same purpose as Doubleclick - serving third-party adverts to third-party websites but will concentrate on small and medium businesses, leaving the big fish for Doubleclick.