Google DoubleClick merger: Who wins, who loses

What does it take to “make the Internet more efficient for end users, advertisers, and publishers,” all in one fell swoop?  A single Google check for $3.

What does it take to “make the Internet more efficient for end users, advertisers, and publishers,” all in one fell swoop? 

A single Google check for $3.1 billion made out to DoubleClick!

Google’s world wide mastery of SPIN continues, big time, in its determined takeover of the World Wide Web: Google: $3.1 billion cash for Web monopoly! 

Google portrays its multi-billion dollar absorption of DoubleClick’s “billions of digital (advertising) communications” daily as a win for all who want to “make the most of the digital medium.” 

The Google “grand slam” though is not a slam dunk for all the Web’s constituencies, despite the Google and DoubleClick repeated assertions. 

In pitching the acquisition to investors in the conference call, and in putting forth a “Next step in Google advertising” FAQ, Google extols emotionally powerful, but cunningly vague, visions for how a $3.1 billion cash buyout of DoubleClick shareholders will serve to “accelerate” the Google mission to “constantly” support:

New, innovative ways to make the information you want more accessible and more relevant—and to deliver it as fast as possible.

Google masterfully deflects legitimate concerns of all of the Web’s constituencies. 

Google on “How will this acquisition benefit end users?”

When done properly, advertising can be useful and provide relevant information at the precise moment when a user is interested in acquiring a service or product. 

Is Google really all knowing? It will be, thanks to DoubleClick behavioral targeting: Google to tag users across Web: Privacy Boomerang? 

Google on “Did Microsoft’s involvement prompt Google’s interest in DoubleClick?, Do you believe this acquisition will stifle competiion?” 

No. Our interest in DoubleClick stemmed from out commitment to provide more useful digital solutions for advertisers and publishers, and offer users a better online experience. We do not believe this acquisition is anti-competitive, as it promotes a vibrant, healthy market for online advertising.

Is Google really disinterested in competitive dominance? No: Microsoft vs. Google: Will MSN, Windows Live compete? ~ Google hurts Yahoo with DoubleClick deal 

WHO REALLY WINS?

Google corporate management wins, and wins big, plus DoubleClick shareholders win, and win big.

Eric Schmidt and company get to play in an even bigger Internet advertising playground, while playing with a stacked deck! 

DoubleClick shareholders succeeded in being the first to pry open the cash acquisition purse strings of Google, netting billions in capital gains. 

What about Google shareholders, though? CEO Schmidt may have actually mislead his own investors last month about Google’s intentions vis a vis the likelihood of just such a high-ticket all cash buyout.

Schmidt told Wall Street–via Mary Meeker at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference last month–that no worry, Google would not be seeking big mergers or making other dramatic changes in how the company uses its cash.

 

Schmidt was asked whether Google would consider changing course on how it uses cash. "It is highly unlikely," Schmidt said. "One of the problems in high-tech industries is that successful companies tend to generate cash pretty liberally (but) they don't have good places to put it."

 

He added that, while Google itself is generating a mounting pile of cash, "it is not obvious to me where it would go.”

 

Just weeks later, Schmidt did an about face on two fronts: 1) He did announce a big merger for a pile of cash and 2) It apparently was not so unobvious where it would go.

 

Schmidt told investors yesterday during the acquisition conference call that Google thought about buying DoubleClick for a "very long time," underscoring a long standing partnership between the companies and a friendly, neighborly relationship, given both share the same NYC office complex address.

 

In responding to questions about the economic rationale of a $3.1 billion cash deal, Schmidt made an unwitting slip of the tongue, initially saying “we can afford it,” but quickly reverting to Google Speak: It’s a great value. 

Google insists its $3.1 billion is being committed for one simple motivation: To “make advertising on the Internet work better,” for everyone. 

Together, Google and DoubleClick will empower agencies, advertisers, and publishers to collaborate more efficiently and effectively, which will, in turn, provide a better experience for our users. 

WHO WOULD RESIST SUCH GOOGLEY DO-GOODNESS? 

Users who proactively protect their privacy by opting out of the DoubleClick DART cookie ID, perhaps?

Or, maybe publishers and marketers not wishing to put all their advertising eggs in one big, transparent only to Google, banner, search, video…online basket: Google DoubleClick marriage (can be) risky business.

 

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