Brief 26: Google/DoubleClick: The search for a theory of harm 02.06.08
In March 2008, the European Commission cleared Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick, a leading online advertising technology company. Despite the absence of any horizontal overlap between the parties, the merger was the subject of a large amount of public attention (focused on issues related to privacy as well as to competition) and faced significant opposition from third party complainants.
Interestingly, although most of the concerns put forward to the Commission were based on exclusionary theories, some complainants suggested that the new entity would be able to raise prices unilaterally even in the absence of foreclosure. Whilst the notion of a non-horizontal merger…