One phase of the regulatory review is over, but the effort to protect privacy online continues. The work of EU and U.S. privacy and consumer groups during the merger encouraged officials on both sides of the Atlantic to more closely examine online data collection practices of Google and others. We believe that EC privacy commissioners will continue to press for more effective safeguards. We were told that the EC competition authorities met resistance to their merger analysis from other officials concerned about privacy and media diversity. In today’s digital media era, the diversity of content creation, protecting privacy, and the competitiveness of the online ad business are intertwined.
We intend to keep our Google watch (along with our focus on the online ad industry). Today’s Advertising Age article on the Google/DoubleClick merger gives a sense of where the search leader is headed [excerpt. our emphasis. subscription required]: Google executives were meeting with reporters in their New York office this morning when the official news came through. “There’s a big world of brand and display dollars we haven’t been as aggressive in or played in,” Penry Price, VP-North America sales for Google, said at the meeting… “We want to build on top of that platform [DoubleClick’s] and create next-generation tools to work with marketers and agencies to have an end-to-end solution from planning to reconciliation”….”I think would we be disappointed in 2008 and 2009 if we don’t have a very significant presence in the display marketplace,” Google President-Advertising Tim Armstrong said yesterday at the Bear Stearns Media Conference.
PS: Here’s what JP Morgan said, in part, about the consequences of the Google/DoubleClick merger in a report released yesterday: “Better targeting opportunities. Google will now have behavioral data from search, email, video, and web usage on network sites. We believe this will allow the company to provide much better ad-targeting, leading to increased CPMs on DoubleClick sites.”