By acquiring DoubleClick, Google will gain access to a plethora of personal information along with one of the largest online contextual advertising networks. The New York Times reports that the Federal Trade Commission will be looking into the anti-trust implications of this deal.
Steve Lohr from the New York Times reported that the FTC inquiry began at the end of last week, after it was decided that the Federal Trade Commission instead of the Justice Department would conduct the review. An unnamed industry executive, who has been briefed on Google and DoubleClick‘s plans reportedly informed the newspaper about the inquiry.
While Google maintains a high level of confidence that the deal will withstand scrutiny, other industry experts think that a second stage inquiry, where the FTC actually hands the company a list of questions to be answered, could last more than six months and might eventually even lead to the deal falling through.
Privacy concerns are not typically the concern of antitrust litigators, but in this case, Google would have access to more information about Internet users than any other company, and this could give them an unfair advantage in the way they serve ads based on user preferences or online behaviour.