Consumer privacy groups on Friday sought to derail Google Inc.’s $3.1 billion deal to buy online ad supplier DoubleClick Inc., filing a complaint with U.S. regulators to block the merger on privacy grounds.
Groups led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center have filed the complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission arguing the merger would violate agreed limits on how much data advertisers collect on consumers and seeking an injunction.
“Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world,” the complaint by the privacy activist groups argues.
New York-based DoubleClick responded in a statement by denying any plan by Google and itself to link the various pools of anonymous data their automated services collect on consumer Web surfing and Internet search behavior.
DoubleClick serves up billions of graphical display ads every day from corporate marketers on thousands of sites across the Web. Google, the leader in an alternative form of online marketing that places ads alongside Web search results, would emerge as an even more powerful force in the online ad market if the DoubleClick deal closes as planned later in 2007