Microsoft Opposes Google-DoubleClick Merger

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

In an ironic twist, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday in opposition to the proposed merger between Internet titan Google and online advertising giant DoubleClick. The proposed deal is facing antitrust scrutiny as competition heats up in the Internet advertising arena. While acknowledging the industry is very fluid with companies like Yahoo, AOL, and even Microsoft (which just paid over $6 billion for aQuantive) making large moves in recent months, Smith still told the Committee that Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick poses "an imminent risk of giving a single company the degree of market power that could foreclose competition."

The concern is that if a single player were to become dominant in the online marketing world, it could set arbitrary prices for online advertising without fear of being meaningfully undercut by competition: advertisers would have no choice but to pay whatever exhorbitant rate the market leader demanded, or (essentially) no one would see their ads. A study just published by the AEI-Brookings Joint Center on Regulatory Studies—and partially funded by Microsoft and AT&T—suggests a combined Google/DoubleClick would do so. The report’s authors, Robert Hahn and Hal Singer, conclude: "A combined Google-DoubleClick would have greater incentive to increase the price of DoubleClick’s advertiser tools relative to a standalone DoubleClick."

Smith also speculated that a Google/DoubleClick merger could have negative impacts on Internet users’ privacy, especially of Google and DoubleClick were to pool their respective databases of user demographics and behaviors.

Microsoft and—by proxy—AT&T citing antitrust concerns before a Senate Committee is ironic, since both companies have been found to have abused monopoly power in their markets.

Google downplayed concerns over the merger, and promise to address privacy issues by enabling users to opt out of usage and behavioral tracking. In a letter read by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Google CEO Eric Schmidt said Google was exploring the idea of enabling users to disable Google’s tracking cookies.

Google also believes the acquisition does not raise any antitrust concerns, arguing on its public policy blog that Google’s and DoubleClick’s businesses are complementary rather than competitive, since DoubleClick is primarily an advertising distributor and does not buy or sell ads or advertising space.

Computing

T-Mobile goes after big cable companies, pilots wireless home internet service

In a shot at big cable companies, T-Mobile is launching a new pilot program to bring an unlimited wireless LTE home internet service to up to 50,000 homes across the United States by the end of 2019.
Mobile

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.
Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.
Computing

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.
Computing

Intel teases 9th-generation Core i9 mobile processors at GDC 2019

Intel teased its new 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processors at GDC 2019. The company offered few specifics about the hardware, but a leak from late February provides insight into what the new processors might offer.
Computing

Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Computing

Give your MacBook Air some added style with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers, and padded sleeves priced from $10 to $130. Happy shopping!
Computing

Intel Command Center lays foundation for next year’s ‘Arctic Sound’ GPU

Intel revealed its new Command Center driver software at GDC 2019. The updated interface will control current Intel integrated graphics and also lays the groundwork for next year's Intel video card.
Web

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

G-Sync and FreeSync can make your games look better, but which is best?

There are some subtle differences between the two adaptive refresh technology offerings, and they affect cost, performance, and compatibility. Nvidia may have released it's feature first, but in recent years AMD has stepped up to the plate…
Computing

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though. Our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.