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WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell has expressed concern at Google's increasing might in the advertising sector following the search giant's £1.5bn purchase of DoubleClick.

London-based WPP is the world's second-largest advertising group, but, after reporting a 0.7% drop in turnover on Friday, Sorrell told Reuters: "It raises some issues for us."

"It raises issues as to whether we are happy to let Google have our client's data and our own data which Google could use for its own purposes in contextual and targeted advertising."

Sorrell warned estimates showed Google would control 83% of the contextual ad market.

He said WPP's Google spend increased from $150m to $200m in the last year but said Google "is a short-term friend and a long-term enemy".

WPP is not the only competitor of either firm to have voiced concerns over the acquisition.

But perhaps the biggest threat to the deal could come from regulators now that online liberties groups have filed objections.

A posse led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Friday lodged a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission and sought an injunction, claiming the buyout would break limits on the amount of data advertisers can collect on consumers.

"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 says.

DoubleClick denied Google would unite the two companies' various data collections.

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Published 23 April, 2007 by Robert Andrews

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Comments (2)

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Phil Nott

Conncering the fact that Google has rebuked claims from Microsoft and much of the online industry ( if you took a straw pole currently you would find good support of the Microsoft position ) that a monopoly is being created here.

Google states that advertisers have a choice of placing their campaigns elsewhere i.e. major newspaper groups etc - but the point here is that nearly all large newspaper and magazine publisers use Doubleclick adserving products - therefore Google will have complete control in this area - or at the very least will be able to see who is spending what with whom down to campaign level i.e. to much data within one company.

I am sure many Publisher will now be reviewing their adserving requirements going forward because of this development and open to discussions with credible altenatives i.e. Atlas and Adtech.

Also Doubleclick has at least 50% of the agency third party adserving ( 3PAS ) market while this has always been so for Doubleclick - now that they will be hitched up to Google - Google can now dominate the online display market within the media agency area as well as the search market - which is not healthy for the industry as a whole going forward.

Therefore the key arguement is that there are ' not ' plenty of alternatives be it online display media or technology where the Google tentacle will not be spreading !

over 9 years ago

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Raja Ramachandran

If the advertisers skip google+Doubleclick, if they opt for Atlas microsoft has bought it, meanwhile yahoo bought Rightmedia.

So almost 90% of the current active www has been covered by all these bluechips.So personal data security is the main concern as all these players might use it for their profit

over 9 years ago

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