FTC Approves Google’s $3.1 Billion Acquisition Of DoubleClick; 4-1 In Favor; EU Hurdle Looms

The FTC will not block Google’s $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick. Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of closing its investigation, with Pamela Jones Harbour as the lone dissenter. In its statement, the commission said the deal was not likely to substantially lessen competition. It also said that while there are issues over privacy, such concerns are not unique to Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Statement (.pdf)| Dissent (.pdf)

The big hurdle for the deal remains the EU, which may take as long as April before ruling. Beuc, a pan-European umbrella organizations for 41 consumer groups, lodged its objection to the deal this week. In a letter to commissioner Neelie Kroes, the group predicted that a Google “monopoly” would lead to reduced profits for ad-dependent publishers. It also warned that consumers would be harmed by increased prices and a loss of privacy. The organization is seen as influential given the EU’s sympathy to consumer rights. Full details at paidContent:UK. More after the break…

Update: FTC: “After carefully reviewing the evidence, we have concluded that Google

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