Australian Regulatory Body Begins Scrutinizing Google-DoubleClick Merger

Following on the heels of the European Commission’s early examination of Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) pending $3.1 billion acquisition of online ad network DoubleClick, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is reviewing how the purchase would impact that country’s ad market, Reuters reported.

The ACCC is asking local Australian ad companies whether the combination of Google and DoubleClick would lead to higher prices and if it could put competing search engines and ad agencies out of business. Google has offered its answers to the Australian regulatory panel, saying that its services differ from DoubleClick, while contending that Australia’s ad and tech industries each possess a healthy competitive landscape that would not be adversely impacted by the merger.

Google is currently tangling with the ACCC on a separate matter. The ACCC has said that Google does not do enough to identify sponsored links in its search results and has take it to in a Sydney court accusing Google of deceptive practices. The case was adjourned on Monday until October 4. (More details about the court case available in this Australian IT piece.)

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