AAAA Letter to DoJ on Microsoft/Yahoo Deal: `Mad’ Merger Men & Women Missing Some Truth in Advertising

The 4A’S advertising trade and lobby organization sent a letter to the Department of Justice yesterday supporting the Microsoft/Yahoo search merger deal.  Among the five signatories from some of the biggest and most powerful ad companies was the head of the Publicis Groupe. But missing from the `approve this deal’ letter was any acknowledgment that Publicis is a partner of Microsoft–something we and other consumer groups have asked the DoJ to investigate as part of its review.

The recent deal between Microsoft and Publicis includes the sale of Razorfish, combined online ad activities and also data sharing.   In addition, Microsoft is expected to own 3% of Publicis after the deal closes, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The letter to the DoJ should have disclosed this and other conflicts of interest.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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