Feds Launch Search Into Google Deal

FTC starts preliminary antitrust probe into $3 Billion DoubleClick buy
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2007 4:54 AM CDT
Google workers walk by a Google sign at company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., in this 2006 file photo. In its latest technological leap, Google will begin showing videos on its main results page...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The FTC has initiated an antitrust probe into search behemoth Google's $3.1 billion acquisition of a major online ad company, sources tell the New York Times. Both competitors and privacy advocates are chafing at the proposed deal between Google, which stores users' search histories, and DoubleClick, which keeps track of their web use.

The feds opened a preliminary investigation after privacy groups complained that the deal would give one company too much access to information about Internet activities of consumers. But privacy is not the concern of antitrust officials:  “To the extent that a reduction in competition could make it more difficult to protect privacy, it could be a consideration,” an expert told the Times.