18 Stories

Phony Ad Clicks at Record High

Click fraud rate climbs to 17.1% in fourth quarter of 2008

(Newser) - Fraudulent attempts to deceive web advertisers into paying for phony clicks reached an all-time high in the last quarter of 2008, CNET reports. The rate of phony to genuine clicks climbed to 17.1% in the fourth quarter, increasing 1.1% from the third quarter and 0.5% from the... More »

Google Trims 300 Jobs at DoubleClick

First major layoff in search giant's history follows merger

(Newser) - Some 300 DoubleClick employees, who briefly enjoyed a taste of Google culture after the ad agency was acquired in March, are facing layoffs as the search giant merges the two operations, reports the New York Times. It’s the first major layoff in Google’s history and trims DoubleClick’s... More »

Google Pushes Privacy Reforms

Firm hopes to allay concerns about its DoubleClick buy

(Newser) - Google is working to ease concerns about privacy infringement in online advertising, ComputerWorld reports. The online giant hosted a meeting for the Consumer Privacy Legislative Forum, a group working to get a bill protecting online consumers’ information passed in Congress. Google will also file comments concerning the FTC’s proposed... More »

Microsoft Likely to Raise Yahoo Bid: Analyst

Stock upgraded to a buy after $34-per-share offer predicted

(Newser) - A Citigroup analyst upgraded Yahoo stock to a buy today, predicting that Microsoft will raise its buyout bid from $31 per share to $34, MarketWatch reports. Acquiring Yahoo is the only way for Microsoft to successfully compete with Google for online advertising, said analyst Mark Mahaney, and so “the... More »

Google Buys DoubleClick After EU Signs Off

Regulators cite Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft as 'credible' competitors

(Newser) - Google acquired ad tracker DoubleClick today after EU regulators approved the $3.1 billion deal, the AP reports. Antitrust officials dismissed concerns about competition, saying Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL also provide “credible” online ad services. The ruling ducked questions of how private data will be handled, an issue that... More »

Even Google Not Immune in Downturn

Its shares off 40% since November, 'the shine is off' search behemoth

(Newser) - After a hitting record high in November, Google shares have fallen 40%, reports the Los Angeles Times. Investors are concerned that a downturn in consumer spending could slow Google's growth—previously thought to be recession-proof. "Now the shine is off Google, whether deservedly or not," one media analyst... More »

FTC Okays Google’s DoubleClick Buy

Deal to go forward despite months of antitrust and privacy opposition

(Newser) - The FTC voted 4-1 to approve Google’s purchase of DoubleClick, despite months of lobbying against the deal on privacy and antitrust grounds. The commissioners concluded that the deal "is unlikely to substantially lessen competition,” PC World reports. The $3.1-billion deal has been fought tooth and nail... More »

Microsoft, Viacom Ally to Check Google

Partnership aims to counter search giant's ad growth

(Newser) - Microsoft and Viacom joined forces to counter Google's growth in the ad market yesterday, with a 5-year, $500-million partnership. Microsoft gets audio and video content from Viacom, and is a preferred partner in online gaming. Viacom will switch its ad placement from DoubleClick, which Google is about to buy, to... More »

Tracking Shoppers On & Offline

Concern over new surveillance software

(Newser) - A marketing data company is blending information about consumer habits online - and offline - to create more accurate and detailed information for advertisers. AP reports Acxiom Corp is bringing to the Internet the consumer profiles and 'life-stage' categories for which it is already well known among direct-mail companies and... More »

Banner Ads Get Nasty

Legit sites hijacked by malware that can hack into PCs, even without a click

(Newser) - Some banner ads on legit sites can hack into your PC—even if you don't click on them. The new ads, which have been seen on sites like the Economist's and, try to scan your hard drive and download malicious software, Wired reports. DoubleClick, which hosts the ads... More »

Europe Blocks DoubleClick Deal

DoubleClick acquisition held up for review

(Newser) - European antitrust regulators have put up a roadblock to Google’s $3.1 billion bid for internet ad giant DoubleClick, ruling that it needs to be reviewed before approval. The US has yet to approve the deal, though Brazilian and Australian regulators signed off on it. Google already controls 70%... More »

Microsoft Deal Overshadows Google's Analyst Day

Facebook deal dominates conversation, irritates execs

(Newser) - Google made some noteworthy announcements at its Google Analyst Day yesterday, but they were overshadowed by Microsoft's announcement earlier in the day that it was acquiring a $240 million stake in Facebook, a prize for which the two companies had reportedly engaged in a heated bidding war. Among Google's news:... More »

Microsoft Armed to Fight Google in Ad Wars

Ballmer says software giant plans to make ads 25% of its business

(Newser) - Microsoft is planning to bump up its commitment to the ad industry, proclaiming that within a few years advertising will account for a quarter of its business, the New York Times reports. Buying an internet ad company last August was not a speculative play, CEO Steve Ballmer told a gathering... More »

Microsoft Rips Google Over Ad Service Bid

Tech titans have different spins on DoubleClick deal

(Newser) - A Senate antitrust panel heard testimony today on Google's proposed takeover of internet ad broker DoubleClick, the Wall Street Journal reports, including a not-so-friendly broadside from Microsoft, a snubbed DoubleClick suitor. Google's chief legal officer said the $3.1 billion deal wouldn't create an internet advertising monolith, as the companies... More »

Microsoft Plots to Dent Google Ad Lead

Software company touting its new non-search model

(Newser) - Microsoft wants to reinvent online advertising, replacing the dominant search engine model with a tracking system that would tell advertisers precisely which ads consumers had viewed before visiting their sites. The new model is the product of aQuantive, an internet ad firm purchased by Microsoft last month, whose main competitor... More »

Microsoft Goes Incognito to Attack Google

Hires PR firm to build opposition to merger; its name is disguised

(Newser) - Microsoft quietly hired Burson-Marsteller to rally opposition to Google’s proposed acquisition of online ad networker DoubleClick—and some are rankled that the software giant’s name was kept out of the pitches. The PR firm sought to convince key players the deal would hamper Internet competition and impact privacy... More »

Feds Launch Search Into Google Deal

FTC starts preliminary antitrust probe into $3 Billion DoubleClick buy

(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... More »

Microsoft Buys Ad Firm for $6B

Deal shores up Microsoft's flailing online advertising presence

(Newser) - Microsoft will plunk down $6 billion for aQuantive, a leading digital marketing agency. The $66.50 per share offer—nearly double aQuantive's closing price yesterday—comes on the heels of WPP's 24/7 Real Media purchase. It's Microsoft's biggest acquisition ever, reflecting its growing desperation to regain its status as a... More »

18 Stories