free html hit counter Google Buys DoubleClick - John Battelle's Search Blog

Google Buys DoubleClick

By - April 13, 2007


And I will eat my post before where I said they would not. From the Journal:

Google Inc. said Friday that it would purchase Internet services company DoubleClick Inc. for $3.1 billion, marking another big foray into the heart of the Web economy.

The price represents a stunning change in valuation for the company, given that it fetched $1.1 billion in 2005, and has since sold off parts of itself to other parties. Among others, Microsoft Corp., had been vying for control of New York-based DoubleClick, which is controlled by San Francisco private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman.

Even as the Internet economy enters its second decade, the price shows just how valuable important market positions can still be. In adding DoubleClick, Google pushes deeper into the business of placing, or “serving,” the electronic advertisements that dot Web sites.

But it also complicates Google’s already fraught relationships with Web publishers, who often rely on Google for advertising revenue and traffic, but worry that Google’s ever-growing market power may somehow crimp their own growth plans.

This purchase requires a lot of thought. Will Google make the service free? Did it buy the service mainly for the data about display advertising – data it wants so it can drive efficiencies into that market? The price is way over the whisper number last week – did Google once again outbid its competition? Looks that way. The price is cash – not stock. Now Google has a major set of relationships with display advertisers.

But will they trust Google? My sources told me that Google was building its own, now it’s clear it wanted the relationships which came via a market leader. And to force me to eat my post, which I will do Monday when I can get home to a printer (yum).

More to come.

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9 thoughts on “Google Buys DoubleClick

  1. Feinkost says:

    How was your post, delicious? ;-)) Iยดve just heard the news about the acquisition and came over to your blog knowing there would be something about it.
    Mainly I wonder what this does to the credibility to Google as a search engine – while adwords have been a first harmless step into advertising this acquisition shows up as a quite logical but also ominous trend. What will be next?

  2. cb says:

    I think Google learned its lesson from the acquisition of Dmarc. I’ve tried getting Google Radio campaigns off the ground but the reach is poor because Google is fighting entrenched players like Clear Channel who are putting tremendous pressure on stations not to give up any inventory – even remnant – to Google.

    Buying DoubleClick with the relationships makes much more sense than trying to go it solo.

  3. Adrian says:

    I tell you what – I hope Google just blow away DCLK’s ad serving suite and just roll their own into Adwords. The DCLK DFA interface is horrible (as long as we don’t lose all our data of course…)

  4. Gerald Buckley says:

    You might DoubleClick… er, DoubleCheck… your poison control center warning on your inks/laser. That stuff’s gotta be as bad for you as a poorly implemented privacy statement.

    (tongue now out of cheek)

    Don’t you know Google’s has that really big nervous grin on their face right about now. (if only Google could laugh… would probably sound a lot like Peter Lorre) Dr. Schmidt’s giving the keynote at NAB Monday afternoon in Las Vegas.

    As long as they’re closing doors on Microsoft… What could they purchase between now and Monday afternoon? Yahoo! maybe? ๐Ÿ˜‰ No, there’s NO way they’d do that! Or, I’ll eat this here iPhone!

  5. Sean Ammirati says:

    You should eat the post live on stage at Web 2.0 Expo before you interview Eric ๐Ÿ˜‰

    – Sean

  6. Aaron Goldman says:

    Now we know why Google’s been building all those data centers!

  7. nmw says:

    does “Goo” sound sticky 2 U? Double Goo?!? GooTubeDouble? What will they think of next?

    ;D nmw

  8. Concerned says:

    Could this be the beginning of perfect ad targeting? With its pervasive reach and a cookie that expires in 2038, Google must resist the temptation to comprehensively mine its user’s off-site behavior when visiting pages served by DoubleClick.

    Perhaps, Philip Greenspun was prophetic when he wrote:

    “Cookies coupled with the open-hearted behavior of 1990s browsers meant the end of privacy on the Internet. Suppose that three publishers cooperate and agree to serve all of their banner ads from When Joe User visits and types in “acne cream”, the page comes back with an IMG referencing Joe’s browser will automatically visit and ask for “the GIF for SE9734”. If this is Joe’s first time using any of these three cooperating services, will issue a Set-Cookie header to Joe’s browser. Meanwhile, sends a message to saying “SE9734 was a request for acne cream pages.” The “acne cream” string gets stored in’s database along with “browser_id 7586.” When Joe visits, he is forced to register and give his name, e-mail address, Snail mail address, and credit card number. There are no ads in They have too much integrity for that. So they include in their pages an IMG referencing a blank GIF at Joe’s browser requests “the blank GIF for BM17377” and, because it is talking to, the site that issued the Set-Cookie header, the browser includes a cookie header saying “I’m browser_id 7586.” When all is said and done, the folks know Joe User’s name, his interests…”

  9. nmw says:

    Sponsored Links

    DoubleClick Remover

    Can’t get rid of DoubleClick?

    Remove DoubleClick Now, Free Scan

    ;D nmw