Google Rivals Urge Scrutiny of DoubleClick Deal

Internet and media rivals to Google , fearing an unprecedented consolidation of power in the online advertising market, are expected to urge regulators to closely scrutinize the Web search leader's $3.1 billion deal to buy DoubleClick.

Google on Friday beat out Microsoft and Yahoo to buy Web ad supplier DoubleClick, securing a leadership position as the Internet's top advertising business.

Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, said the deal would allow Google to corner the online advertising market and provide them access to a huge amount of information on consumer behavior on the Internet.

"This proposed acquisition raises serious competition and privacy concerns," said Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel in an e-mail statement.

"We think this merger deserves close scrutiny from regulatory authorities to ensure a competitive online advertising market."

AT&T senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs Jim Cicconi said on Sunday that Google would be in a position to pick winners and losers in the industry.

"If Google becomes the dominant force in terms of Web advertising and becomes the broker, that would be clear evidence of market power and dominant position." Cicconi said.

Industry analysts said the deal would let Google focus more attention on extending its advertising forces offline -- into the print, television and radio advertising arena.

Google said on Sunday it landed a deal to sell a portion of the advertising inventory for top U.S. radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications' radio division.

Earlier, it landed a similar deal to sell TV ads for No. 2 U.S. satellite television provider EchoStar Communications .

Shortly after announcing the deal on Friday, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in a news conference he expected the deal to be approved by regulators.

"This is a very, very competitive market in terms of the number of choices," Schmidt said to reporters and analysts on Friday in a conference call.

Time Warner is also seen urging regulators to scrutinize the deal, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal Web site. Time Warner was not immediately reachable.