GO
Loading...

Google CEO: Privacy Concerns Won't Hinder DoubleClick Deal

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said Wednesday that U.S. regulatory approval of his company's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will not be hindered by possible concerns over privacy.

"We're quite convinced that the proposed merger meets all of the appropriate U.S. laws and is ultimately very good for consumers and for advertisers and publishers," Schmidt said at a press conference.

Google, the world's No. 1 Internet search engine company, announced its plan to buy New York-based DoubleClick Inc. last month in a $3.1 billion acquisition that privacy advocates have urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.

DoubleClick helps its customers place and track online advertising, including search ads, which Google - more than its nearest search competitors Yahoo and Microsoft - has turned into an extremely lucrative business.

Google confirmed Tuesday that the FTC is conducting an antitrust review of the deal. Typically, antitrust reviews focus on monopoly concerns, such as whether the combined company will be able to raise prices without fear of competition. But there is precedent for them to address privacy worries, analysts say.

Schmidt said that Google, when considering the acquisition, "looked very carefully" at privacy and other issues that would come under legal review "because we knew competitors would raise those issues, as indeed they have."

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google is "not concerned that the choice of the FTC brings in some new issue that we had not thought about," Schmidt said.

Earlier this month, Schmidt predicted Google would clear all the necessary regulatory hurdles to complete the acquisition by the end of 2007. He reiterated that view Wednesday, saying, "we're hoping to close later this year."

Schmidt was in South Korea to participate in the Seoul Digital Forum 2007, a three-day gathering of technology and media industry leaders organized by South Korean TV network SBS.

Several consumer advocacy groups, led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, urged the FTC to investigate the privacy implications of Google's acquisition of DoubleClick.

The groups said in their April 20 complaint that the two companies, when combined, would have access to an unprecedented amount of data on consumers' Web usage and Internet search habits.

Regarding other possible acquisitions, Schmidt said Google is "always open" to the idea, though added that he had nothing specific to announce.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
MSFT
---
YHOO
---
GOOGL
---

Featured

  • The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve building in Washington.

    CNBC's Fed Survey shows market pros aren't very confident the Fed can end its easy money polices without a market crash, a recession or bad inflation.

  • Merck employees walk past a Merck sign in front of the company's building in Summit, New Jersey.

    Merck reported better-than-expected results, with sales of newer drugs offsetting declining sales of drugs facing generic competition.

  • Pfizer reported higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings, helped by growing sales of its cancer medicines.

  • An attendee is silhouetted against a Microsoft poster at the Microsoft Developers Build Conference in San Francisco, April 2, 2014.

    An agency that enforces antimonopoly laws visited company offices in four cities, as the country more closely scrutinizes multinational companies.

Contact U.S. News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More

Don't Miss

U.S. Video

  • Vote now: A personal assistant A.I. robot vs. a no-fee smartphone controlled security system.

  • Kurt Kuehn, UPS CFO, discusses the company's quarterly earnings and spending initiatives that increased operating expenses but will provide long-term benefits. Kuehn also shares his opinions on America's corporate tax structure.

  • Harvey Spevak, Equinox CEO, discusses the acquisition of Sports Club LA properties and Reebok Sports Club's New York location. Spevak also explains their mobile app.