European regulators have given the green light to Microsoft to acquire online advertising powerhouse Doubleclick for $3.1 billion, an acquisition that would be a boon for advertisers but a harrowing thought for privacy advocates.
It would allow the combined entity to have nearly 600 data collection events per person visiting the company's site or the ad network pages.
Both Yahoo and Microsoft, two of Google's most potent websites, have acquired online advertising companies as well : Microsoft went for aQuantive while Yahoo acquired Blue Lithium.
Google plans to use Doubleclick to complement its existing Google Adwords/Adsense solution;
Doubleclick serves adverts to tens of thousands of websites worldwide and allow advertisers to target potential audiences more efficiently and measure how well ads performed.
Website owners often run Google's advertising solution in parallel with Doubleclick's to increase the revenue per page.
According to Microsoft, Google and Doublelick will own more than 80 percent of the market for ads displayed on websites.
Job cuts are expected to follow at Doubleclilck according to Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt and in a statement said "With DoubleClick, Google now has the leading display ad platform, which will enable us to rapidly bring to market advances in technology and infrastructure that will dramatically improve the effectiveness, measurability and performance of digital media for publishers, advertisers and agencies, while improving the relevance of advertising for users."