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March 26, 2008

Google Officially Owns DoubleClick. What Now?

Earlier this month, Google completed their formal acquisition of major advertising firm DoubleClick Inc., for $3.1 billion in cash from equity firm Hellman & Friedman. The purchase, originally announced nearly a year ago, has had it’s fair share of detractors and legal hurdles to clear before going ahead, with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) grinding negotiations to a halt shortly after the original announcement. However, the FTC finally gave the green light on the deal in December.

But Google’s DoubleClick woes may not be over just yet. According to Startup Earth, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has revealed that DoubleClick employees have been asked to submit their resumes to a senior Google committee in advance of possible staff cuts. Here’s a snippet from the post:

“The move is said to affect employees in every department, who will have to prove not only that they are capable of fulfilling their previous roles, but also that they are ‘Google material’, which could leave many veteran employees with virtually no job security pending a personal review.

DoubleClick employees at all levels are said to be furious and deeply concerned by the effect this acquisition will have on personnel, and many are looking at their options.”

One of the more obvious areas where Google may downsize is within the DoubleClick owned search marketing company Performics. It’s been noted that when Google acquired DoubleClick, they also acquired Performics, making them the owners of a search engine optimization and link building company. The irony of this is probably not lost on them, not to mention the conflict of interest issues it raises. I would expect to see an announcement from Google in the next few months that they will be dissolving that portion of the business.

Apart from that little hiccup, I’m expecting the DoubleClick deal will result in the release of superior tools for targeting, serving and analyzing online advertisements. We’ll have to wait and see.