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DoubleClick Purchase Spurs Google Advertising Juggernaut
Ken Lewis, M-Net.net.nz

ImageGoogle quietly shored up its dominance in online advertising over the weekend, buying web advertising tools provider DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in cash.

The acquisition is almost twice what Google paid for YouTube in October, but unlike that purchase, Google had several rival suitors for the online ad serving and management technology company, including Yahoo, Microsoft and Time Warner.

The deal gives Google access to DoubleClick's advertising software and its web publishers, advertisers and advertising agencies. Google has been looking to gain a greater presence in the web display advertising market, which provides richer graphic and online banner ads for corporate brands. This represents half of online marketing, but has so far been dominated by Yahoo.

"It has been our vision to make internet advertising better - less intrusive, more effective, and more useful. Together with DoubleClick, Google will make the internet more efficient for end users, advertisers and publishers," said Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder.

DoubleClick provides display ads on sites like MySpace, The Wall Street Journal and America Online and serves agencies with clients such as General Motors, Coca-Cola, Motorola, L'Oreal, Palm and many more. The company also produces software that helps sites maximize ad revenue by allowing advertisers and ad agencies to manage and measure the effectiveness of their rich media, search and other online ads.

Industry pundits have speculated that Google was willing to pay virtually any price to keep DoubleClick out of Microsoft's hands, which apparently shied away from the purchase after the price topped $2 billion.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt later confirmed that DoubleClick's acquisition had accelerated Google's entry into some advertising markets by several years.