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Google In Bidding To Buy DoubleClick

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-bargains-left dept.

Google 120

A number of readers clued us to the latest development in the saga of te sale of DoubleClick: Google has thrown its hat into the ring against Microsoft and (reportedly) Yahoo and AOL. Most of the stories quote a Wall Street Journal piece that is only available to subscribers. Google's entry into the bidding may boost the price for the remaining pieces of DoubleClick (parts of the company having already been sold off) to $2 billion, twice what its current owners paid for the whole thing. Some reports speculate that this figure could give Microsoft pause.

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Great... (4, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582423)

Mr. "Don't be evil" in the running to buy one of the most Evil and Rude companies on the 'net.

Somehow I doubt it's to dismantle them and slowly kill the bastards responsible...

Re:Great... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582447)

They'll just redefine the activities of DoubleClick to not be evil. That's the great thing about that slogan.. you can redefine "evil" at will.

Re:Great... (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582561)

How about they just change the actions of double click and stop them from being evil with the current definition. Thats the great thing about buying a company. You can change the way it operates.

Re:Great... (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582619)

Yeah, that's a great idea. Why don't they buy DoubleClick and turn it into a bakery. Everyone likes bread!

Presumably they'd be buying DoubleClick because it has value.. maybe they're just after their customer list, but more likely they're of the opinion that DoubleClick is doing some good business.

Re:Great... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582971)

Or maybe they could incorporate some of double click's non evil activities into one of their own products and have a winner.

Besides, With all double click does, not everything is evil is it?

Re:Great... (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582997)

It's all evil. That's my understanding.

Perhaps you're right though.. I doubt Google is buying the baby eating division (that was probably the part that Microsoft was interested in).

Re:Great... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583033)

Thanks for that laugh. I needed it. Baby eating division.. I didn't realize it was that bad.

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583953)

Perhaps you're right though.. I doubt Google is buying the baby eating division (that was probably the part that Microsoft was interested in).
Nope, sorry. I have a friend who works in a high level position at Microsoft, and he informed me personally that Microsoft was specifically interested in the Puppies-Blood-In-A-Juice-Box division of doubleclick.

Microsoft has already lined up Dick Cheney as a customer; it is their hope he will be this division's main source of income.

Re:Great... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583241)

your sn is apropos. plus you're gay.

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583293)

Are you getting randy thinking about it>?

Re:Great... (2, Insightful)

Traa (158207) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583141)

You buy a company, you buy the people that work there. If you work for a company like double-click you know what the company does, and it ain't pretty. If Google buys them they will either have to strip double-click clean of their employees and lose most all of the intellectual property that have put double-click on the money board or claim that they will teach all the employees how to "not be evil". Rrrrrright.

Same goes for Microsoft, I just can't believe even they will sink this low.

AOL, yeah...they swim around the same depth.

Re:Great... (3, Funny)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583915)

"Same goes for Microsoft, I just can't believe even they will sink this low."

You must be new here... ;-)

Re:Great... (4, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584681)

Doubleclick doesn't have that much IP, and the stuff they do have has nothing to do with the people that work there, it is in patents. It doesn't do anything that complicated.

The only reason Doubleclick is such a big target, is because it is used by a lot of people. It already has a huge market presence. This was the same with youtube. Most people don't seem to understand that that is the important aspect of these buys. Anybody can build another video site, or myspace, but why would people move to them when they already have the originals. That is why they cost so much. It isn't really that complicated to understand.

Money isn't enough... (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583967)

... for companies such as Google and Microsoft. Once they become so wealthy that the dollars are meaningless, the next step is power, and DoubleClick offers this by being an intelligence source. Ain't no better way of being a step ahead.

"Buy double click" double-click ad? (3, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582469)

Why don't double-click just put out a "buy double-click" ad. Then everyone can play!

Re:Great... (5, Insightful)

Checkmait (1062974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582567)

I agree: Google probably put the bid in to stop its rival Microsoft from entering the online advertising market in force. Plus, with with Microsoft menacing with its touted eye-tracking ad technology [slashdot.org] , Google may be anxious to keep MS out of the ring, at least through merger or acquisition.

As for the union of the opposite ends of the online ad spectrum, I think Google will influence DoubleClick more than vice-versa simply because it is the acquiring company and has the prerogative of tossing out all of the old management. I hope.

Re:Great... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582625)

whats "evil"?

if it's not legal, it's not "evil", that's how google defines it

it's a faggy motto, not a business plan

Re:Great... (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583701)

If it's illegal it's not evil?

Re:Great... (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582777)

Or, it is to make Microsoft over-pay for Doubleclick. Their warchest has dwindled to under $30B for the first time in something like a decade. If they over-pay for Doubleclick, then it might just be one big brick in the wall, ultimately contributing to the death of two of the greatest evils ever to walk the Earth! Muahahahahaha!

Re:Great... (0, Redundant)

livewire98801 (916940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583135)

Dangit, my mod points expired before I had time to use them. Would someone throw this guy an "insightful" for me?

Hmm... (1)

EmotionToilet (1083453) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582867)

I don't know much about DoubleClick, but from what I've heard people say about their ads and their company, they don't sound entirely desirable. It could be possible that Google might buy them simply so that their competitors (MS and Yahoo) don't. Lets face it, this is Google's territory, and I would not be surprised to see them go to extreme lengths (blowing 2Bil$) just to protect it and ensure their security. This could be Google flexing their muscles and screaming "I AM GOOGLE!" right in MS's face.

Re:Great... (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583007)

Haven't you guys ever played Monopoly ? Google probably doesn't want the glorified pile of funk that is DoubleClick, because AdSense is far friendlier and more successful than DoubleClick ever was. However, Microsoft DOES want DoubleClick because they want to compete with AdSense, somehow, in a bastardized half-assed rip-off kind of way like everything else they've released in the past 30 years. If Google ends up buying DoubleClick, just to keep it away from Microsoft, it's a smart strategic move and one that Google can afford, especially if it means protecting their ad business. We all know how Microsoft plays... they don't care if they lose tons of money, as long as they drag everyone else down with 'em, then when the time is right they' pounce on their tired enemies. They're like chinese computer importers, only less puny!

Google buying DC is kind of like a good monopoly player buying a single lot they don't want, just to keep someone else from completing their set and building friggin hotels. Believe me, buying St. James Place for $180 now is way better than paying your opponent $950 rent later. Same idea here!

Re:Great... (2, Interesting)

Handover Phist (932667) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583499)

Boosting the price that 'Evil' will have to pay to compete isn't evil. It's fighting evil.

(Cue comic book style superhero in cape posing)

Re:Great... (2, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583659)

Somehow I doubt it's to dismantle them and slowly kill the bastards responsible...

I think we'd all enjoy it more if they killed DoubleClick and slowly dismantled the bastards responsible....

Good move for google (2)

5, Troll (919133) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582441)

On page B4 of the WSJ today they say that if it goes north of $2 billion MSFT will drop out. They also mention that TimeWarner is interested as doubleclick has a healthy partnership with AOL that they want to protect. Yahoo is also mentioned as a suitor in the article. They all no-commented when asked, except for the statement that it was going to be sorted out in the next few days...

I think Google can benefit from buying DoubleClick. It seems a logical extension for them to get into the brokerage of the ads and take a larger share of online ad spending.

It has been rumored though that Google has been developing a system similar to DoubleClick that they are supposed to be launching this year. If that is the case, I don't see how the high price would be justified. I think Google needs to be a little more careful when making these billion dollar purchases.

Re:Good move for google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18582785)

I have seen many trolls in my day, and you, sir, are no troll. You are a disgrace to trolls everywhere. There is only one option left for you: suicide. But you would probably just fuck that up, too.

Call that a troll? (0, Redundant)

subl33t (739983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582851)

Call that a troll? Time to kill yourself coward. But you would probably just fsck that up, too.

Makes sense (2, Informative)

_merlin (160982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582451)

It makes perfect sense - Google and DoubleClick both make money from inserting ads into web sites. But while Google have some of the least intrusive/annoying ads, DoubleClick are at the opposite end of the spectrum. But then both of them have a reputation for gathering personal information, too. If this does happen, I hope Google makes DoubleClick ads less irritating, and not the other way around.

I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (3, Insightful)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582457)

I don't care who buys it. I'll never see a DoubleClick ad again as long as Adblock Plus can be set to *doubleclick* . Whoever gets them gets a losing business model.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (4, Insightful)

Kpau (621891) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582517)

I have a personal policy of allowing unintrusive ads into my view and punishing obnoxious ads (and not buying their products). Doubleclick is one of the few domains that is completely wildcarded into Oblivion by my adblocker for their behavior.

If the domain changes to "google.*" .... I may just be on the hunt for another search engine, eh?
Listen carefully, google-bots... right now, I've got no problem with google-ads and try to click through on anything that interests me. Change that model and you'll summon one of my less pleasant personalities :)

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582557)

Me too. I've had them blocked for so long I wasn't really aware they were still around.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582587)

I share your sentiments. Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of Web surfers even know who DoubleClick are, Google may very well decide the loss of your dollars are worth the dollars of the unwashed masses.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583243)

And I, being among that very small percentage who do know what DoubleClick is, may very well decide not to apply to work at Google upon graduation. I'm exaggerating greatly, of course; simply owning DoubleClick is nowhere near enough to deter me... but a few more evil deeds and I just may reconsider. For some people, maybe it's already enough.

Point being, they are not losing just dollars, but also potential workers.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583409)

Google gets a million applicants a year. I'm reasonable certainly that they won't miss yours.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (2, Funny)

kubrick (27291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583505)

For some people, maybe it's already enough.

Microsoft has been evil for its entire corporate life, but that seems to be working out for them OK.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (1)

Stormx2 (1003260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18585213)

Google may very well decide the loss of your dollars are worth the dollars of the unwashed masses.

Wait, the general public are now unwashed? Things must have changed since I last visited slashdot...

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (3, Insightful)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582883)

Internet Explorer has no widely used ad blockers available, and controls almost 80% of the market. Every non-geek Firefox install I've seen also doesn't have adblock installed. I'm sure a small percentage of users blocking their ads aren't going to hurt them all that much.

However, I do hate Doubleclick....

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583433)

blocking their domain at the router works surprisingly well, even if it does occasionally screw up a website that makes use of their "services."

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584325)

I had doubleclick all blocked off, and I wanted to see a video on MTV's website (a year or two back). I couldn't get the videos to load until I temporarily unblocked DoubleClick.

I prefer sites like GameTrailers, IGN, etc, that have a "fallback mode" if you can't see the ad. It just skips the ad and gives you the content, because they figure you weren't going to look at it anyway.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583983)

They do have a hosts file that they can use. One that is pretty up to date is http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.txt [mvps.org]
I update my hostsfile with it every week and I don't even run Windows.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583057)

Then again, Google and Mozilla have a deal, by way of the default search engine in Firefox. Hmmm...

However, I have to admit that I don't think Google is anywhere near evil enoug to try any of the schemes I can imagine right off the top of my head.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (1)

elchuppa (602031) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583065)

it's really not DoubleClick. The person you should be annoyed with is the publisher. They are responsible for not irritating their customers. DoubleClick simply delivers a product which is manufactured by an ad agency and sold by a publisher (i.e. website). I fail to see how what DoubleClick does in serving the ads and supporting the desired form factors is evil. DoubleClick could exist perfectly well in an industry that chose not to annoy you. Oh and those annoying ads. They are what makes the people whose content you consume eat. So when you block them basically you're freeloading. It might not be hip or geeky to say so but it's irrefutably the truth. If you find ads annoying. Stop going to that site.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (1)

Jussi K. Kojootti (646145) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584319)

I disagree. I do try to be legal and ethical in my consuming (as an example: my whole music collection is legal), but what you are saying is not what web is about.

This is my take on it: The website owner is free to send me any crap they want when I request a page. Likewise, I'm free to do anything I want with the data I receive. If I don't want to see any images, I don't have to see them. If I want to read the thing translated into latin, I can. If I want to filter ads, I will.

There is no contract, or even moral obligation, that I should read every fucking letter they send to me... They have an option to send me data, I have an option to read the data, that's it. If the business model of the website can't deal with that... well, boo hoo.

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584675)

And what do you do with your so-called 'ethics' when the terms of use of a site include refraining from the use of ad-blockers?

Re:I said it in the last DoubleClick rumor thread (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18585399)

In that case, they should display the terms of use at each visit: plain in my face. Let's see how long I'll be visiting that site.

Where'd all the DoubleClick fanatics go? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18582459)

I remember a few years back, before Google's advertising services became popular, that using DoubleClick's ads on your site was all the rage. There used to be large groups of people who'd defend DoubleClick to the death, it seemed. Whenever talk of competitors' offerings arose, even the early ones of Google, these folks would come out in force just to prove you wrong. Sometimes they bordered on insanity. I recall one fellow asking me if I'd "shave my balls" for Google after I remarked that I liked how their ads were unobtrusive and relevant.

Now we hear virtually nothing from these people. I think that this whole situation just goes to show how some of the most significant online media companies can become irrelevant so quickly. The MySpaces and YouTubes of today will likely be long forgotten even in as little as two to three years.

Re:Where'd all the DoubleClick fanatics go? (0, Troll)

user24 (854467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582475)

You're wrong about one thing.
I bet you'd shave your balls if google just asked.

Re:Where'd all the DoubleClick fanatics go? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18582529)

I bet you'd shave your balls if google just asked.

I totally would. But in order for me to do so, you'll have to take your mouth off of my left nut for just a moment.

Re:Where'd all the DoubleClick fanatics go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18582765)

What did the left nut say to the right nut?

"Help, get this troll off of me!"

Re:Where'd all the DoubleClick fanatics go? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583687)

God, I know I would. Howabout we have a "shave our balls for Google" day?

Re:Where'd all the DoubleClick fanatics go? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18585417)

christ, what's with the moderators today? that was a joke! sheesh.

Re:Where'd all the DoubleClick fanatics go? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582969)

They've gone out of biz, with all the people blocking the obnoxious doubleclick ads, there was no revenue stream.

Personally I see this as good ol' free market at work.

Re:Where'd all the DoubleClick fanatics go? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584129)

One word: astroturfing [wikipedia.org] .

Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18582463)

There aren't any free email providers that aren't equally evil. I'm not even sure there is a pay email provider that's doesn't dabble in the dark arts.

Good... (1)

soccerace09 (908351) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582497)

Now my NoScript can block Google along with many other services!

Its a sad day when... (2, Interesting)

Ariastis (797888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582533)

...people fight to buy DoubleClick.

Microsoft pauses at $2billion? (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582621)

They probably pay more than that in fines.

It's sad... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18582633)

It's sad when you see a story on your Wii before it's on slashdot.

google? (1)

axel2501 (1083451) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582715)

Google is getting seduced by the dark force...

Patents? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18582751)

Perhaps Google wants doubleclicks patents, with it they could potentially scare away any new comers into their cash cow ad business....

#

DoubleClick's "DART" Patent

# 5,948,061. This is DoubleClick's "DART" patent, entitled "Method of delivery, targeting, and measuring advertising over networks." Here is the abstract:

        Methods and apparatuses for targeting the delivery of advertisements over a network such as the Internet are disclosed. Statistics are compiled on individual users and networks and the use of the advertisements is tracked to permit targeting of the advertisements of individual users. In response to requests from affiliated sites, an advertising server transmits to people accessing the page of a site an appropriate one of the advertisement based upon profiling of users and networks.

Re:Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18584769)

And I have a patent on having infinite monkeys stuffed in a finite room typing out patents. Big deal.

Oil and Water? (1)

bblboy54 (926265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582755)

Google: "Don't Be Evil"
DoubleClick: "Be Evil"

This actually scares me... Google buying YouTube was a question of intelligence... seeing this is really a question of morals....

Re:Oil and Water? (1)

MisterCookie (991581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583115)

Anyone else remember the Google complicity in the Great Firewall of China? This is it all over again. Google shouldn't be trusted; shame I store all my email with them.

Re:Oil and Water? (1)

pacalis (970205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583131)

My understanding is that Google bought YouTube was so that insiders on Google's board could exit several hundred million from their YouTube investment under the lunacy of public google stock hype. My understanding is that DoubleClick went private becuase it was making too much money to be punished in the stock market from being so nasty, and for the dot com implosion. And probably for less regs too. So it's really just the 'oil' that google is greasing these deals with.

Is google as good as the used to be? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582759)

I don't think google's search engine is nearly as good as it used to be. These days, I seem to be flooding with ads which have nothing to do with I type.

As I understand it, the cost of using google's adsense is sky-rocketing.

Is google now going the way of doubleclick?

I guess I can't blame googe. They exist to make a profit. But, I might start looking elsewhere.

Re:Is google as good as the used to be? (4, Interesting)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582931)

I often hear this "flooded with ads" argument, but generally anything I look for I find on the first page. I'm willing to bet that no less than 99% of my searches require me to look beyond the second page at the worst. What exactly are you looking for all of the time? Any examples so I can see what you're talking about? (I've tried Yahoo! as well and don't have any issues with them either).

As for Adsense, if you're paying to use adsense, you need your head examined. Google pays you to use Adsense :-P (I'm assuming you meant Adwords).

I can understand Google bidding on Doubleclick.. (4, Interesting)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582825)

I guess Google are looking at it like this.

1. They manage to win the bidding war = one less adspace competitor and quite possibly more customers.
2. They manage to up the price by millions maybe even billions of dollars and one of their major competitors (Microsoft or Yahoo) ends up spending an inflated amount on something they would have bought even if Google didn't enter the race.

Google can't lose.

I seriously doubt they'd continue the marketing style of DoubleClick.

(I too didn't even realise doubleclick was still around *hugs adblock*)

Bills mind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18582827)

"this figure could give Microsoft pause."

Inside bills mind: I will buy some shitty company for a few billion in order to f"ck with people forever!
Outside bills mind in a conference room: Are you crazy?
Inside bills mind: Pause.
Outside bills mind in a conference room: Look, hes thinking! Maybe there is hope.
Inside bills mind: I will buy some shitty company for a few billion in order to f"ck with people forever!!!

Shorting GOOG may pay out eventually (1)

Chryana (708485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582889)

I don't mean to be a troll. I swear. But who thinks here that buying youtube, a company with a net profit of 0 was worth 1.65 billions? It may pay off, in the very long term. I'm willing to yield that. And I'll go as far as to say that doubleclick is a much, much better fit for google, it's an advertising company. However, the question we should ask now is, how profitable is doubleclick? It's not publicly traded anymore, so recent numbers are hard to come by (or at least they are hard to come by for me, feel free to correct me here). The best information I could find was their 2004 Q1 earnings report, at http://sec.edgar-online.com/2004/05/10/0000950123- 04-006076/Section7.asp [edgar-online.com] . Their net earning for that period, if I read the document correctly, were 7.693 millions. That's not a huge profit, even if you multiply it by 4 to get a rough yearly earning. Unless their business has grown a LOT, it's unlikely to be worth 2 billions, especially if "parts of the company having already been sold off". Of course, they may not buy it at all, and this whole comment will be moot. However, if they do buy doubleclick, and if it hasn't grown has not grown a whole lot more profitable since 2004, I really think that these acquisitions of dubious value may will bring google stock way down from it's current value.

Re:Shorting GOOG may pay out eventually (1)

Mjec (666932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582951)

The thing about Google buying Youtube was they paid $1.65B in stock. Thanks to rumours in the days before the sale, the value of the stock they owned went up by about $2.20B. So Youtube cost them nothing. Ahh, the brilliance of a market economy and publicly traded shares..

Re:Shorting GOOG may pay out eventually (1)

Chryana (708485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583137)

The thing about Google buying Youtube was they paid $1.65B in stock. Thanks to rumours in the days before the sale, the value of the stock they owned went up by about $2.20B. So Youtube cost them nothing.


Interesting, I didn't know that. I do not think it refutes my point, though. I don't think anyone would argue that the actual value of google went up by 2.2 billion overnight. It's stock value, which is a totally different animal, did go up. But given google's current share price, I don't think this sudden change in share value was because Google was undervalued. Sorry, no numbers to support this, feel free to show me wrong. Anyways, I did not put my wallet where my mouth is so far, and I'm glad I didn't - I wanted to short them while GOOG was at 200, so don't run to your broker just yet. This is not financial advice :).

Re:Shorting GOOG may pay out eventually (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583863)

But who thinks here that buying youtube, a company with a net profit of 0 was worth 1.65 billions?

Depends, with offerings like Google Images, Google Maps, Google Mail, Google Desktop, Google News, I think a hefty investment in Google Video probably wasn't a bad idea.

Genius! Google is Shill bidding? (4, Insightful)

XenonOfArcticus (53312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582897)

Isn't it possible, that Google is engaged in a little eBay-style shill bidding? Google doesn't really want Doubleclick. In fact, Google would probably prefer NOT to have DoubleClick, and not to have DoubleClick EXIST at all. Google just wants to deny Microsoft an opportunity, or failing that, make them pay WAY more than fair value for the privilege. Google can play the table for a few rounds in a bidding war with Microsoft, and then back away at the last second when they think Bill has reached his table stakes. Not that Bill can't afford to pay some amount, it's just that at some point, Microsoft will really regret lining Hellman & Friedman's pockets any more than they had to. Google doesn't care if H&F get rich, as long as it makes Bill poorer. ;)

And in Google's mind, it might not even be evil. It might be PREVENTING evil. If I were Google (and I'm not, darn it) I'd totally play it that way.

Re:Genius! Google is Shill bidding? (1)

pacalis (970205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583163)

Ya, and my glass is half a swimming pool full.

Re:Genius! Google is Shill bidding? (1)

livewire98801 (916940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583227)

The question is, how much is it worth to Google to eliminate Doubleclick?

Re:Genius! Google is Shill bidding? (4, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583305)

Haha, you google fan boys crack me up. Multi billion dollar companies dont enter fake bids. They are serious about buying.

It really is surprising to me that everyone here seems to come up with conspiracy theories to rationalize their worldview of doublclick as 'bad' and google as 'good'. They are both companies in business to make money. Doubleclick uses annoying ads because they make money. Google uses unobtrusive ads because they make billions. The 'dont be evil' thing is just good marketing.

Re:Genius! Google is Shill bidding? (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583929)

Multi billion dollar companies don't enter fake bids.

You're right, they don't, but whether it's a multi billion dollar company or a broken lawn gnome, this is still a bidding war. Fact is Google probably doesn't need DoubleClick at all, but win or lose entering this "auction" is causing "all" of Google's competitors to ramp things up. Either way Google wins. You're right though the idea that Google would enter this without being willing to drop a billion or so on the table is well, goofy.

Re:Genius! Google is Shill bidding? (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584927)

Of course they do. This happens all the time, especially with TV sponsorship. Why would it not? What is intrinsically differnet between ordinary joes on ebay and multi-billion dollar companies, except that they pay-off for companies can be much bigger. Sure, you may not stop this purchase, but you may stop a couple down the line.

Ok, it starts being irritating (5, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583009)

Google is buying more and more companies that harvest user preference information. With their own service they know what kind of things people are looking for, what people they are in contact with and (if they're so inclined) what topics people discuss, with YouTube they know what kind of entertainment people enjoy to watch and what kind of content interests them, with doubleclick they'd know what "pathes" people take on their way through the WWW.

And to be honest, I don't even have an idea what other companies they scooped up on the road that we didn't even hear about. I'm quite sure a decent profiler has no trouble putting the puzzle together.

So my question is why. At least I know, I wouldn't collect that amount of data just for kicks.

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583205)

I'll ask the question you seem to be asking but can't for some reason:

Is it possible to do anything good with this data, or is the fact that it is collected at all make any use of it intrinsically evil?

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583331)

What's good, what's evil? Absolute terms don't fit here 'cause they are very subjective and biased. Crushing a rebellion is always good from the point of view of the ruler, while his subjects might see it as good or evil, depending on whether they see him as a tyrant or their white knight.

I don't want to ask whether they want to do good or evil with the data. I just want to ask what they're doing with it. Whether I deem it good or evil is my subjective decision.

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583347)

So, from your subjective perspective.. what would you consider a good thing they could be doing with the data?

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583451)

Well, since I just heard that Google wants to push into the US TV network market now, too, maybe more interesting shows that match the interest of the people. Information for webpages how to make themselves more interesting by additionally covering topics that are also interesting to people who come there for their core features. It could be used to make search results in Google more personal (preferably user driven whether it's wanted or not) by cross checking the search parameters against the general interests of the searching users and ranking the results accordingly.

Information is neither good nor evil. Of course it can be used to profile a user down to flood him with targetted spam.

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583457)

I think tht if Google knows everything about me and makes it extremely efficient for me to find the services and products I want, without forcing me to do so, that's pretty far from evil. As always, Evil is subjective.

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584025)

if (betterMarketAnalysis == betterMarketing) { collectMoreData(); } else { annoyPeopleWithRandomAds(); }

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584031)

darnit!
if (betterMarketAnalysis == betterMarketing) {
collectMoreData();
} else {
annoyPeopleWithRandomAds();
}

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (1)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18585279)

So my question is why. At least I know, I wouldn't collect that amount of data just for kicks.

It's not difficult. They want that stuff so they can sell you things in an efficient way. Mass advertisements are inherently inefficient. If you can somehow target advertisements based on someone's personal preferences (or most likely broad generalizations) then you have a higher chance of actually selling them something. If they sell more (or help others sell more), it results in them making more money. If they have more information about your browsing/viewing/purchasing habits, they will be more successful. This may result in bad things (data leaks, loss of privacy, etc.) but I assure you that Google doesn't have any nefarious intentions with that data.

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18585595)

Well, I'm from a country close to Germany. Don't ask my grandparents what they think of sentences like "It won't be that bad".

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (1)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18585633)

I never said it wouldn't be bad. I just said they didn't have evil intent. That's a very big difference. Although I seriously doubt the information they are collecting will be of interest to anyone but marketers, pretty much anything can/will be abused.

Re:Ok, it starts being irritating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18585383)

So my question is why. At least I know, I wouldn't collect that amount of data just for kicks.
Why ?

Well, if someone or something knew everything about me (where I work, favorite food, passions and interests, maybe the places I'd like to go, things to see), I'm sure they could come up with some very, very relevant ads to display, with a high chance I click on them and end up purchasing whatever deal it was. Don't forget that's the business Google's in - advertising - and they have acquired over the years the means to deliver ever more relevant ads. I'll give Applied Semantics for starters, but see the list for yourself here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google_acquis itions [wikipedia.org]

Who Cares? (1)

pilbender (925017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583469)

No one on Slashdot has had to deal with doubleclick in *years*

In case there are some poor unfortunate souls that have had to deal with doubleclick and others, try this:
http://www.everythingisnt.com/hosts.html [everythingisnt.com]

It's a Linux and Windows solution. The best and simplest there is.

Does That Mean... (2, Interesting)

jschmerge (228731) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584161)

Does that mean I get a reduction in the number of cookies I tell FireFox to reject?

Darn... I was getting used to saying no.

:p

this is it (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584237)

Okay, this is it. I've had it with the "don't be evil" crap. I'm moving to an open-source variant of search engines. Can anyone forward me a link?

Re:this is it (1)

tripa (1070956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584719)

Just STFG.

So who is gona buy Single click? (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584357)

So who is gona buy single click?

Waiting... (1)

Killshot (724273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584537)

Waiting for ads.doubleclick.net..............

One way to kill competition is buying it (3, Informative)

subzero_ice (624972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584957)

Bottom line they are in the race to buy out the competition. DoubleClick is Googles closest competitor.

Well, I mean... (1)

caudron (466327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18585507)

....it's not like their corporate charter says "Buy no evil". :)

Tom Caudron
http://tom.digitalelite.com/ [digitalelite.com]
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