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MS Urges Antitrust Scuttling of DoubleClick Deal

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the pot-and-kettle dept.

Microsoft 234

Microsoft contends that Google's $3.1 billion deal to buy DoubleClick would hurt competition in the online advertising market. And Microsoft expects AT&T, Yahoo, and other companies to join them next week in protesting the proposed sale.

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MS knows what it is talking about (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748435)

After all, it takes a convicted monopolist to spot another one in the making.

Re:MS knows what it is talking about (4, Insightful)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748463)

Google buying double click is no worst than Microsoft buying it.. after all MSN & Messenger alone is an elaborate portal of advertising.

Re:MS knows what it is talking about (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748503)

MS certainly advertise on some of thier own sites and apps but i don't think they are in the advertising space resale buisness like google and doubleclick are.

imho there is a major difference between being a producer of advertising space and a reseller of it just like there is between being a farmer and being a food wholesaler.

Re:MS knows what it is talking about (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748641)

Actually, MS is in that space. The problem is that MS is not very sophisticated and they are WAY behind. They are hoping that by buying double click that they can compete head-on with google. Not sure that I really want Google to buy them, but I KNOW that MS buying them will be a far worse event.

MS will have the ability to control it all via windows and MSIE (whereas Google does not have the ability to control except via natural). And while Google is tied in with firefox, MSIE still occupies 85% of the market. And with MS's past history, it should be obvious that they will tie all this together and kill off google. So what if they have to pay a later fine of 10-20 Billion? They will have created another monopolistic market that will earn them 2-10x that amount each year.

Re:MS knows what it is talking about (4, Insightful)

init100 (915886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748727)

They are hoping that by buying double click that they can compete head-on with google.

So they want to stop Google from buying DoubleClick so that they could buy it themselves? Will they ensure that competition will remain vibrant if they buy it, or is competition just important when Microsoft is not involved?

Re:MS knows what it is talking about (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748743)

I did another post elsewhere where I suggest that MS, Google, AND yahoo should be prevented from buying Double Click. There is too much ability to tie all this together. But by far, MS is the worse one.

Re:MS knows what it is talking about (5, Informative)

Zerth (26112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748963)

Yes, actually, they are in the ad business, and I say you can't be a trust in an industry where MS is a competitor:)

They recently stopped using Yahoo's ad service and started their own. And it sucks.

You'd think being johnny-come-lately that they'd, you know, copy the good features of the other big 2 and support things like being able to upload entire campaigns for large #'s of keywords and ads. Nope, the best they can do is single ad groups, one at a time, in two sheets, one for words and one for ads, which isn't really faster than cutting and pasting them into a web form.

I recently had to change the text on several hundred ads and instead of merely importing a spreadsheet of the changes, perhaps generated for my by Google or Yahoo (which they do, despite the fact that it lets their customers try other ad sellers that support such a feature:) It took me about 10 minutes each on google and yahoo. I won't be done with MS adcenter for at least 2 days.

I'm glad they lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748563)

Otherwise it would have been a matter of time before ad revenue was based on internet explorer visitors only.

otoh: i'm glad microsoft finally "understands" that they "will go through a regulatory process" in Europe.

Re:I'm glad they lost (5, Funny)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748643)

This antitrust suit will end in Google being declared a monopoly in the online advertising business. Luckily for Google, they will be allowed to define their own punishment, and offer discount coupons for discounts on B-level keywords only. ;) Yes, some of us learn from history.

Re:MS knows what it is talking about (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748637)

Why not ask your power company? After all, they are the ultimate monopolists -- their market share is enforced by law.

Re:MS knows what it is talking about (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748645)

It strikes me, however, that even if this would constitute some sort of monopoly, it doesn't touch Microsoft in terms of harm to the consumer. First, I'm still not sure how Google can really abuse the market, even if they do control a large portion of it. People will still be able to use different search engines and different ad services. Plus, if Google somehow ruins the online ad market, it harms... well.... the online ad market. Am I the only one who's not entirely scared by that? I guess I don't buy the idea that, absent of ads, people would simply stop putting content on the web.

Maybe I'm screwy, but I care much more about the OS and Office Suite markets. I'm not expert enough to know whether they should take action to stop this deal with Doubleclick, but Microsoft appealing to anti-trust laws means they accept the validity of the principle.

As the say... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748439)

Pot, meet kettle.

Re:As the say... (3, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748507)

And Microsoft have been duly punished.

Should we give another company the chance to do damage the market by abusing monopoly powers?

Re:As the say... (5, Informative)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748607)

And Microsoft have been duly punished.

I remember MS being convicted. I do not remember them being punished. IIRC, the administration changed and MS got away nearly unscathed.

Re:As the say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748691)

Why not? Otherwise it would be unfair that MS got to do it and others don't.

Re:As the say... (4, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748865)

And Microsoft have been duly punished. Should we give another company the chance to do damage the market by abusing monopoly powers?

Since it isn't illegal to be a monopoly, just illegal to abuse the position. And since Google hasn't acted like Microsoft by ever using it's position to wipe out competitors. Yes, lets.

Those who act responsibly should be allowed positions of responsibility. Those who act selfishly, should be barred from those positions.

HAHAHAHAHA (1)

HeX314 (570571) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748441)

Ain't this about as good as it gets. Microsoft hopes companies will band together in anti-trust. Oh the irony!

Wait... wasn't Microsoft.. (5, Insightful)

lordsilence (682367) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748443)

one of the bidders for Doubleclick?

Unhappy loser?

Re:Wait... wasn't Microsoft.. (2, Interesting)

clark0r (925569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748479)

Sounds like Microsoft have a conflict of interest here and shouldn't be shouting out-loud about this. It just makes it seem as though they want to manipulate the marketplace for their own good. If Microsoft had won the bid, you wouldn't hear them saying "perhaps we shouldn't do this, it makes the market unfair" and dropping their takeover.

Re:Wait... wasn't Microsoft.. (5, Insightful)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748489)

Let's be fair here, Google is substantially larger in the online ad area than Microsoft, so if Microsoft had won the bid Google would just be a bit smaller. Off course Microsoft wouldn't say "it's unfair", because it wouldn't have been. Now Google is more like the Microsoft of the online ads world. The irony is not lost, but you cannot just turn it around and say it would've been the same thing if MS had won the bid.

Re:Wait... wasn't Microsoft.. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748663)

The real problem with that is that MS can control the market by tieing all this to MSIE (which they are trying to do via live). No doubt MS would be accused and later convicted of wiping out Google by doing this. They may even pay a 10-20 Billion fine. But once Google is gone, MS will OWN that market and will make 2-10x that each and every year. OTH, Google has NO ability to control the market save via a natural monopoly i.e. a superior product. But it would be better if MS, Yahoo, and Google were prevented from buy DC.

Re:Wait... wasn't Microsoft.. (1, Insightful)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748841)

A monopoly is still a monopoly, whether or not you choose to call it a "natural monopoly" or not. Would it really be better if Google wiped Yahoo, MS et al off the online ads map? MS could use IE to wipe Google off, but why is it better to have only Google than only Microsoft serving us online ads? You can say "yes, but MS would do this and that", which would probably turn out to be true, but we have to face the fact that it's hypocrisy to cry foul whenever MS does something and just say "phew, at least it's not Microsoft" when Google does something almost just as bad. Remember, IBM was the big bad one during the 80's, not Microsoft, and see where we are now.

Re:Wait... wasn't Microsoft.. (5, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748979)

A monopoly is still a monopoly, whether or not you choose to call it a "natural monopoly" or not.
Monopolies are not illegal. Abusing the powers being one gives you, is. MS has, I've yet to see Google do so. So while it doesn't matter what the type of monopoly is, it does matter who it is.

Would it really be better if Google wiped Yahoo, MS et al off the online ads map?


Having seen MS and Yahoo's business practices, in a word, YES.

You can say "yes, but MS would do this and that", which would probably turn out to be true, but we have to face the fact that it's hypocrisy to cry foul whenever MS does something and just say "phew, at least it's not Microsoft" when Google does something almost just as bad.
Name one company Google has snuffed out of business using their current position as dominate leader in the search engine business. Name one competitor they've screwed over by pulling dirty tricks like MS has. I've seen none of this, have you?

Before Microsoft became the god of the OS world, they pulled every trick in the book to try to kill people in the markets they wanted to be in. They killed the DOS market by tying sales of Windows 3.1 to MSDOS. When that was blocked, they released Win95 under the lie that MSDOS was integrated into it and not actually a separate component (which was later proven a lie when people found out how to replace MSDOS with other versions.) Almost the same thing happened in the IE/Netscape war for dominance.

And when Microsoft entered the system utilities world, they killed of their competitors by outright stealing. Can you honestly say you've seen something like the STAC/Doublespace issue pop up with Google?

There is a very legitimate excuse to say "at least it's not Microsoft", whatever Google's 'evil' has been, it's been outside their business practices towards their competitors. Their mistakes have been working with people the Western world frowns upon. Not trying to channel the spirits of every robber baron that's ever lived. There is no reason to currently think they would turn into the next Microsoft.

Re:Wait... wasn't Microsoft.. (3, Insightful)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749031)

So your entire defense for Google is actually "it would've been much worse with Microsoft"? I'm fully aware of the history behind MS, and I don't dispute the fact that it would perhaps BE worse with MS getting the deal instead of Google, at least for now, but think about all the information Google has on you and think about them being in complete control over most information that flows over the net. I would rather have MS, Yahoo and Google compete in the ad arena instead of having a monopoly, even if that monopoly is Google. Having one company knowing that much about a person is somewhat scary, even if the company has a "Do no evil" motto.

Re:Wait... wasn't Microsoft.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748667)

The big idea behind anti trust law is that companies are not allowed to leverage an existing monopoly in one area of the market for competitive advantage another. Google are an online advertiser, that's the business model and although they are the market leader, they don't hold a monopoly position. I'm not sure they even hold a monopoly position on search.

Obviously Microsoft and their supporters here don't understand the basic concept of anti-trust law.

Re:Wait... wasn't Microsoft.. (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748715)

Probably not. But they do understand the concept of owning politicians. And since politicians gravitate towards those with money, like mosquitoes to CO2, there is a MONSTER crowd around MS without them even need to buy them. I would have to argue that MS does understand the law, all to well.

Google doesn't have MS Windows and MSIE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748681)

So Google can't use any lock-in to force users to use double-click.

Anyone want to bet whether IE7 would allow blocking of doubleclick-net cookies if MS bought it? Firefox will stil allow blocking when Google buys it.

IMO, google shouldn't buy it: it's a waste of money as far as I can tell and may have been done solely to stop MS getting it (which could have killed google, so in that sense, it makes sense to buy).

Put Words Into Useful Order (-1, Redundant)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748445)

black, kettle, pot, calling, The, the.

Re:Put Words Into Useful Order (2, Funny)

jjacksonRIAB (1050352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748707)

In Soviet Russia, kettle black calling pot the The YOU

Microsoft concerned about Anti-Trust? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748447)

They must be throwing snowballs in Hell about now....

Re:Microsoft concerned about Anti-Trust? (4, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748517)

They must be throwing snowballs in Hell about now....
And chairs too! I bet it's standing room only in Redmond about now.

Re:Microsoft concerned about Anti-Trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748851)

Of course Microsoft is concerned about anti-trust. Like most companies that thrive on contrived monopolies and patent hordes they're concerned about it because it's not their monopoly.

Pot kettle black. (1, Redundant)

Obsi (912791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748449)

This is a severe case of the pot callling the kettle black. Poor little convicted monopolist is afraid of losing business. I don't feel the least bit sorry for them.

Re:Pot kettle black. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748957)

Yeah, because concerns about a monopoly aren't valid if you were declared one once. It's ok to steal from thieves, rape rapists, and murder murderers, by your logic.

If there are monopoly concerns, they should be investigated, regardless of who raises the claims.

Re:Pot kettle black. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748999)

Why would you ever feel sorry for any corporation?

Isn't this... (-1, Redundant)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748451)

The pot calling the kettle black ?

Wow. (-1, Redundant)

schotty (519567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748457)

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black ...

Microsoft's days as software leader are over... (-1, Flamebait)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748459)

and they can't face the truth that proprietary software has met its match. So, instead of accepting this truth, they act like a screaming 2-y/o at bedtime, as if it might solve their problems. Instead of adapting to the new marketplace, they'll try to preserve the status quo.

Sorry, kid, but you just got knocked off the top of the hill. Go run home to Mommy now and cry your little eyes out.

Re:Microsoft's days as software leader are over... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748595)

And what does this have to do with "proprietary" vs "open" software? It's not like Google's software is open.

Re:Microsoft's days as software leader are over... (1)

Dan_Bercell (826965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748819)

looking at the home, business and web businesses Microsoft still seems like a leader to me, what world are you living in... lol

Re:Microsoft's days as software leader are over... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749025)

You may need to go remind yourself of how the software market still looks like again...

Inevitable (0)

sharp-bang (311928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748467)

that this would be a Slashdot story.

Re:Inevitable (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748971)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means--oh wait, sorry. Wrong word. :P

eBay & PayPal (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748475)

There's a pairing that could use some looking at before Google & Double Click.

MS Urges Antitrust Scuttling of DoubleClick Deal (4, Funny)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748483)

No standard web pages containing all your search terms were found.

Did you mean: MS Urges Scuttling of Antitrust

Hard to argue (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748487)

It's hard to argue in support of this now. Overture or whatever Yahoo's advertising arm calls themselves these days is hardly a competitor, and even Microsoft have admitted their own advertising offering is stillborn at the moment. If Google does get hold of DoubleClick, it means they're literally the only game in town.

When they can afford to lower costs for advertisers, having no competition means they don't have to bother. When they can afford to pay more to webmasters, no competition means they don't have to bother. Even a consumer can get screwed by this, since it'll be all but impossible to visit a site that isn't covered with DoogleClick ads, making 'voting with your feet' impossible. Very rarely does a corporate merger get to screw two sets of customers *and* the general public in one swoop.

For those who say "But they did it with YouTube, so no problem, right?"... YouTube isn't really comparable, since there's a lot of other video sharing sites. YouTube was the biggest, but it's by no means unassailable and it's users arent waiting on a cheque.

Regards,
-Steve Gray
-Cobalt Software

Re:Hard to argue (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748515)

todo:

Get myself an account otherwise people might start attributing things to me.

Finish downloading that midget porn torrent.

Regards,
-Steve Gray
-Cobalt Software

Re:Hard to argue (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748811)

http://www.google.com/search?q=online%20advertisem ent [google.com]

Hmm... Yeah, no competition. I'm going to say it. "But they did it with YouTube, so no problem, right?"

YouTube IS comparable. DoubleClick is the biggest, just as YouTube was, and DC is NOT the only internet advertising out there. Here, lemme look through my adblock filters. These were all created BY ME, so they aren't just added randomly. I actually saw and was annoyed by these ad companies.

qksrv.net
atdmt.com
bns1.net
adquest.nl
atwola.com
tribalfusion.com
burstnet.com
falkag.net
viewpoint.com
imgehost.com
interclick.com
valueclick.com
maxserving.com
interpolis.com
belnk.com
zedo.com
advertserve.com
netshelter.net
intellitxt.com
contextweb.com

So tell me again how there's no competition in this market?

Re:Hard to argue (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749041)

Ouch, don't put all those domain names in one list all at once like that.
Now I'll have nightmares of dancing Bonzi buddies again. :-(

Re:Hard to argue (1)

mixxu (1076713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749055)

Thanks. My adblock filters are now updated.

Re:Hard to argue (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748947)

If Google does get hold of DoubleClick, it means they're literally the only game in town.

So? Becoming and even being a monopoly has never been illegal. Abusing your monopoly position is. As Microsoft of all companies should be well aware of ;)

If there ever was... (2, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748493)

...a justification of using the "sourgrapes" tag, this is it.

I trust Google about as much as I trust any other corp (not much at all) but to see Microsoft crying in its oatmeal is just poetic.

--
BMO

Tag (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748501)

slashdotters,

Please join me in tagging this fine article "hahahahaha".

Thanks,

-normuser

heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748537)

Mmmmmmmmm... irony...

I have a very bad feeling about this (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748539)

Google is not an OSS company. Little of what they do has been released as free software. How much have they changed linux to optimise their operations? Who would benefit from the same patches? Nobody knows.

Doubleclick was worth more to google because they could multiply it against the adsense data they already own. Microsoft didn't have as much to gain.

Search is the new DNS. Anybody who owned and controlled all of DNS would control the internet. Most of the search market is controlled by google.

Google is only limited in size by the fact that they are an internet company, and the internet is finite. But if they wind up owning much of the internet its not going to be good for the rest of us.

I would love to be able to look forward 10 years and see exactly where this is heading. The don't be evil bit may just be ironic by then.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (5, Insightful)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748757)

Most of the search market is controlled by google.

Is it really? According to Alexa, the top three websites in the world are, in order, 1) Yahoo, 2) msn and 3) Google. Maybe all the people who visit the former two do so for the news, or the groups, or the mail, but I'm not sure your hypothesis is automatically valid. Google sure seems to be the search engine of choice among geeks, but what about Joe Random and Suzie Sixpack? I don't think you can just extrapolate without doing any actual research here.

But if they wind up owning much of the internet its not going to be good for the rest of us.

I would love to be able to look forward 10 years and see exactly where this is heading. The don't be evil bit may just be ironic by then.

Wow, talk about ominous gloom-and-doom prophecies. I'd love to be able to look forward ten years to see where everything's heading, too, but neither of us can. I think the term "FUD" is quite appropriate here: what you're trying to create is fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the absence of any actual arguments.

Oh yeah, and since I just read your comment again, let me give another example:

How much have they changed linux to optimise their operations? Who would benefit from the same patches? Nobody knows.

I'm sorry, but that's FUD, too, although some rather underhanded one. The reason is simple: while the question "how much have they changed Linux" is a valid one, your second question and the answer you give to that not only already implies that the answer to the first one is "a lot" but also implies that others would not only benefit from those alleged patches but also that Google is holding them back for the sole purpose of not contributing back to the community - being evil, in essence.

And while Google's contributions to the kernel are indeed much smaller than those made by other companies, that's still just FUD until you actually come up with some solid evidence to back up your claims. But then, the fact that you don't actually go ahead and *openly* accuse Google of doing anything unethical is probably evidence that you do not, in fact, have any.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (1, Redundant)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749021)

According to Alexa, the top three websites in the world are, in order, 1) Yahoo, 2) msn and 3) Google.

I thought it was well understood that MSN isn't being "visited" with intentional clicks. It just happens to be the default home page of 100 million people who don't know they can change it. If someone wrote a virus that changed everyone's IE home page to something other than MSN, it would fall out of the top 10 easily, and maybe off the charts altogether. I have never seen anyone try to go to MSN for any reason, or even heard of anyone wanting to.

Google sure seems to be the search engine of choice among geeks, but what about Joe Random and Suzie Sixpack?

Ah, yes, Suzie Sixpack. I dated her in college, when she was known as Suzie Kegger. In any case, the point is that although many people will use whatever search box pops up on their screen (see point above; this is why MSN gets any search volume at all), Google has a shocking amount of mindshare among the general public. I am surprised frequently by people I perceive to be non-technical talking about "Googling" things.

LWN.net knows (3, Interesting)

Craig Ringer (302899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748809)

Google submits a significant number of changes to the mainstream Linux tree, as shown by (among other things) this recent lwn.net article [lwn.net] . For 2.6.20 they landed up rougly between Intel and HP ... both of whom have much more reason to be working heavily on the kernel, especially on the server end of the market.

Of course, there's no way of knowing if they maintain whole new optimised subarches, special file system drivers, etc in-house... but I suspect that anything they do keep private is mostly not released because it won't be very useful outside Google. Perhaps they're limiting access to things that'd only be useful to their direct competition in immense data warehouses - but y'know what, I don't care myself. I wouldn't be surprised if the kernel folks would reject any excessively specialised or over-complex changes anyway.

That said, as you pointed out little of what they do is releases as OS. More than most companies (at some) - including some nice search and data handling tech and some handy libraries - but hardly the crown jewels. I for one do not find this overly troubling.

I do, however, share your spine-crawling feelings with regards to the DoubleClick association. I've never been fond of DoubleClick at the best of times, and don't like the thought of their data being combined with Google's.

Re:LWN.net knows (2, Interesting)

Craig Ringer (302899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748883)

I should however note that:

      - The LWN data is pretty limited (being based on line deltas / number of commits) and a single sample ... not really solid comparison material. Then again, I do cite it only as an example of a broader trend (Google being fairly active in kernel work).

      - My assumptions about what they keep private are exactly that, but based on the fact that they do release more tech than most, and that it's in their interests to get useful things that aren't too critical or specialised merged. Doing so reduces their workload significantly, especially with core (non-FS/driver) changes, isn't bad techie PR, and lets them focus on any specialist stuff they *are* doing. It's speculation, but not baseless or wholly uninformed.

      - AFAIK one of their more basic techs, the Google File System, is done in userspace anyway. Certainly most of their interesting work is.

Horrible premonition (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748541)

If MS can get Google identified as a monopoly, but then lose the case, they've given themselves a free ride out of any further antitrust proceedings they may find their lizard selves in in the future.

YuO FDail It (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748553)

Watershed essay, A losing baatle;

Huh? How CAN you eliminate competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748567)

It's not like the ad market has a high lock-in potential. If MS wants to compete with Doubleclick, JUST FUCKING DO IT already.

Go out, talk to some websites, pay them money, get people to advertise there.

Oh you mean, MS can't make them as good a deal as DC? DC is more efficient and does its job well? Well, then what are they bitching about? An efficient company doing what customers want is hardly a bad thing to have.

Re:Huh? How CAN you eliminate competition? (0)

The Mysterious X (903554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748793)

It's not like the OS market has a high lock-in potential. If Linux wants to compete with Microsoft, JUST FUCKING DO IT already.

Go out, talk to some websites, pay them money, get people to advertise there.

Oh you mean, Linux can't make them as good a deal as Microsoft? Microsoft is more efficient and does its job well? Well, then what are they bitching about? An efficient company doing what customers want is hardly a bad thing to have.

^--- Just for the irony value

I don't know about MS here, but some commenters should be tagged potkettleblack. Should murderers be fair game too be murdered themselves? Should we point and laugh when rapists get raped themselves? Slightly extreme examples, but there you go.

Just because MS is a convicted monopolist, doesn't mean that they don't have a valid complaint.

Re:Huh? How CAN you eliminate competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749061)

Should we point and laugh when rapists get raped themselves?
Yes. Karma can be a bitch sometimes.

$3.1B in gif ads? (1)

MLS100 (1073958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748589)

How the hell is Doubleclick worth so much money? I mean.. are that many people clicking ads? I can't remember the last time I clicked on an ad. Ads are an annoyance, the chance that: 1. I know what the ad is for. 2. I could use whatever the ad is for. 3. I can afford to purchase what the ad is for. 4. I feel like actually following through with purchasing what the ad is for. are slim to nil. How many of you are actually enticed by gifs/swfs flashing at you while you're trying to read something? /MLS

Re:$3.1B in gif ads? (3, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748603)

You're comparing the Slashdot population to the rest of the internet. There's a difference; we know most of those ads lead to spyware or just don't appeal to us, while many people outside think "ooh, downloadable smileys" and click right through.

Re:$3.1B in gif ads? (1)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748625)

Well, to help to elucidate your question, just think: how many people out there are clicking SPAM links and buying their stuff, or getting scammed via shady mass email business? A lot, isn't it? Now think, what is more likely to be bigger, the marketing share and success rate of SPAM and mail scams or of the regular business advertisement, even obnoxious animated gifs and pop over flash, as long it is from reputable business like, for instance, IBM, who is kindly displaying a big ad right now over my comment?

Re:$3.1B in gif ads? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748647)

How the hell is Doubleclick worth so much money? I mean.. are that many people clicking ads?

If that's your question, the relevant one would be how Google is worth so much more than even that, since clicking ads is their entire revenue stream too (give or take 0.1%).

Re:$3.1B in gif ads? (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748699)

I can't remember the last time I clicked on an ad

Click...don't click - both are data points.

Regardless of your particular response to an ad, the real point is that enough people do click to make data mining a huge industry.

Obligatory reality check regarding Google (3, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748597)

Google is a publicly traded company and as such here's what's important to them.....

Making money for their stockholders.

There's a fluffy bunny love for Google that everyone has but they may as well change their motto from "Do no evil" to "We do less evil than everyone else". A monopolist Google is no better than Microsoft. I'm not a fan of Microsoft, but giving too much control to any company, much less a publicly traded one, is a horrific idea.

Google is going to do what is best in their corporate interest.
Surprised? Don't be. It's business

Bang goes the hypocrisy meter. (3, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748599)

It didn't just blow up, it's a rapidly expanding cloud of plasma.

-jcr

Re:Bang goes the hypocrisy meter. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748649)

I belive what youre looking for here is "it was mutually annihilated into pure energy"

Re:Bang goes the hypocrisy meter. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748689)

Ah, that would explain the mushroom cloud.

-jcr

How big is this market anyways? (4, Interesting)

Raindeer (104129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748627)

Interesting that AT&T joined in. They are moving against Google to support their Net Neutrality position. But let us look at how much money there really is in this market and then see whether an almighty Google might actually be able to hurt AT&T. Google currently makes 10 billion a year from 281 million broadband users worldwide. That's is $35/broadband user/year or $2.90 a month. Just look at the price of AT&T's offering and you can see that Google's ARPU is no more than a few percent of AT&T's ARPU (Average Return per User). Google's ARPU is supporting various content offers through this businessmodel, more than 40% of the ARPU flows to the content owner. So at the moment AT&T can beat up Google for a maximum of $2 per month per customer.

So how big could Google's ARPU grow? In a country like The Netherlands 5.7 billion a year is spent on advertising to about 7 million households. This makes 67/household/month (and this number isn't growing too much) This is the total advertising expenditure on the national market and includes all major media: Newspapers, television, direct mail, cinema, magazines, billboards, internet etc etc etc. If Google can get part of that on a global scale, it amounts to a major amount of money. But now look at it from ARPU point of view. It would be hard for Google to get more then 10-15% of this market space ($6-$10/household/month) because they would have to replace all the existing ways of doing advertising and these are still powerful and sustain many content business models)

  If a telco can his hands on google's revenues, they might be able to knock a few dollars of the price of a broadband connection. But $6-$10 isn't going to pay for the line and the costly upgrades. Just go and look up the financial information of telco's to see how big they are and how much money they spend on a yearly basis. Google is dwarfed by that. (Broadband reports said that telco's would spend $41 billion on network upgrades just this year, Google made only $10 billion last year) Odlyzko was right when he said: "Content isn't King" and we can add to that "Advertising will never be king".

So when AT&T says that Google is making money over their networks. We are talking about change compared to what AT&T is charging its customers.

Will Google get a dominant position? Only if they offer content providers the most money for showing a banner and advertisers the greatest amount of clickthroughs. That is why Microsoft and Yahoo are loosing out. The offer less adviews per day, that generate less clickthroughs per thousand adviews and pay less per click and offer advertisers less conversions. Why would you use them? Nobody in the equation is getting better by using Microsoft and Yahoo not the content provider and not the advertiser.

Now lets hope Google pays some attention to my pitch for Adsense for Charity [blogspot.com] . The idea is that anyone using Adsense can designate a percentage of their Adsense revenues for good causes or open source projects. Even if we are only talking about a very small percentage of Adsense users doing this, we still would be talking about millions of dollars per year) So please help out in spreading this idea, by linking to it or spreading it onwards.

Re:How big is this market anyways? (1)

azrider (918631) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748741)

Interesting that AT&T joined in.
Um...No. According to the summary (I refuse to login to see NYT articles),:

And Microsoft expects AT&T, Yahoo, and other companies to join them next week in protesting the proposed sale.
This does not say that they have decided to back Microsoft.

Re:How big is this market anyways? (1)

Raindeer (104129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748933)

Quote from the NYT:
Microsoft was joined today by AT&T, a company that traces its lineage to the Ma Bell monopoly that was broken up in the mid-1980s. "We think antitrust authorities should take a hard look at this deal and the implications," said Jim Cicconi, senior executive vice president for external affairs at AT&T. "If any one company gets a hammerlock on the online advertising space, as Google seems to be trying to do, that is worrisome."

OMIGOD! (0, Offtopic)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748629)

They killed irony!

true, true, but (2, Interesting)

vaith (875639) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748633)

Setting aside the default "screw M$" spinal chord reaction, can't we concede that they do have a point here? The fact that they are guilty of being monopolists themselves doesn't mean they have nothing that's worth saying. Google's latest acquisitions have definitely set them on a monopolistic path as they expand ownership over content providers and now methods of advertising through those providers.

Sure, Google conspiracy theories may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I think few people would disagree that an internet largely dominated by Google and Google-backed products, generating more Google revenue (positive feedback, anyone?) would entail the typical monopoly shortcomings (less innovation once the market is consolidated, arbitrariness, a bigger buffer zone for failed services, etc.). Right now I can't help but feel that Google is almost administering a utility, like water or electricity. Half of what I do online is powered (or directly coded) by Google -- ensuring a major share of the advertising revenue wouldn't be so different to ensuring they get most of their rightful toll/tax money for providing those basic services. Sure, there's nothing wrong with these services so far, but do we really want one guy centralizing all the cool net stuff? I for one, have to hand this one to our traditional Microsoft overlords.

M$ and AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748661)

Microsoft and AT&T, joining up in an anti-trust protest. Microsoft, that's one thing, but together with AT&T???

It goes to show you how messed up things are, if AT&T can control nearly an entire country's communication, and Microsoft can demand the M$ tax from all, BUT you can't restrict online advertising... Are the priorities of anti-trust suits anything but another way of building cases to take other's out of your potential profit arena so you can build your monopoly?

If your fat ass sat on the chance to buy something, you go to court over it? Is that like a second chance offer?

Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748695)

Mr. Cicconi said that AT&T, by contrast, would be affected by a Google-DoubleClick combination because AT&T distributes services over the Internet like digital television, known as IPTV.

"For many of these new Web services, it could be that the advertising-supported model is the predominant business model," he said. "The danger here is that Google could be in a position to pick winners and losers."

Consider the possible impacts of tiered internet service... He's calling the kettle black.

maket leader, yes, monopoly, no (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748711)

there's a large difference here. google, does not rely on any technological or under the counter pressuring to maintain it's dominance. there's nothing stopping ms from setting up a better ad service. MS relied for years on bullying OEM's into only selling windows, and on IE being mangled into the OS to push out competitors.

Re:maket leader, yes, monopoly, no (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748919)

I know that it's not fashionable to appear to agree with Microsoft, but it's not exactly fair to maintain control of a market by buying out the competition, is it?

potkettleblack is right... (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748713)

wasn't Microsoft in the bidding for DoubleClick as well?

Could it not be argued this way? (5, Interesting)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748717)

From the point of we normal mortal users, if Google gets hold of DoubleClick then (as we've seen historically with them) they'll keep to low key advertising that isn't in your face - unlike Microsoft who will no doubt use any means to ram Vista down our throats with Flash-based adverts.

I do agree that Google isn't necessarily the "sweet-faced cherub" in all of this, but from my own personal perspective as a general computer geek who uses non-Microsoft products (Linux and Open Source) more than Microsoft ones, so far Google have given me free of charge a good search engine with minimal advertising, an email system with almost 3 GB of storage space that (unlike Hotmail) is pretty good at catching spam and doesn't keep emailing me with useless adverts, the very useful Google Earth tool and "Docs and Spreadsheets" which I have found very useful for collaboration and for converting Word docs (albeit simple ones) to PDF. Plus I've not even looked at all the other Google services that I could subscribe to.

I do accept that MS does give quite a bit away to VB/DotNET/Whatever developers but for me, as an occasional coder in Perl, Python, shell scripts and a little C, there's nothing of any use to me that MS gives away.

So from my own selfish viewpoint, I'd rather Google was left to get on with it and MS kept their hypocritical noses out of it - and if Google does ever start pulling their monopolistic weight, I'll worry about it then.

Mod parent up. (1)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748745)

Here here! Couldn't have said it better.

Re:Could it not be argued this way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748779)

No. Monopolies should be nipped in the bud because they invariably turn into abusive monopolies... can you think of one that hasn't?

Microsoft was once regarded as a renegade bunch of engineers standing tall against IBM. The cable companies were once seen as upstarts bucking against the mighty broadcast networks. The original AT&T was once regarded as kindly old Ma Bell that wired the company for phone service... until MCI and Rolm came along, then they showed their nasty side real quick. Google was once... well, they just lost whatever innocence they once had, didn't they? Rich public companies need to be fed, and they will do whatever it takes to get fed.

I support Microsoft on this one. Let's keep DoubleClick out of the hands of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Amazon, and keep those four online giants from merging with each other. And don't even think about combinations with the old Baby Bells.

Re:Could it not be argued this way? (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748877)

But I'm just a simple "Joe Bloke" with no real interest in corporate practices as long as what corporations do doesn't adversely affect me.

I want the freedom to run what applications and operating systems I choose to run - I'm happy to pay anyone (including Microsoft) for good quality, useful and value for money products but I don't want to be forced into using products from a specific vendor.

As a computer geek in both my work and hobbies, the biggest fact stopping me from fully choosing what software I can use are proprietary file formats that try to lock me in to specific software packages. Since MS file formats are the most popular (specifically those used in MS Office) then their business practices make what I want to do that much more difficult - whereas what Google does makes what I want to do easier.

So from my limited view of the world, I have little sympathy for MS anyway - they don't do much for me so why should I care about them?

Re:Could it not be argued this way? (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748903)

It's open standards a monopoly?

Re:Could it not be argued this way? (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748925)

Aren't, not it's.

scary cookies (5, Insightful)

AdrianZ (29135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748721)

"Ad-serving networks like DoubleClick place tiny programs on personal computers, called cookies, that monitor where an individual user goes online."

That's the scariest part of the article... that a publication like the NY Times still hasn't figured out what a cookie is, or worse, has but yet misrepresents it to scare people over to their POV.

Just wondering (2, Insightful)

matt328 (916281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748763)

Is there anyone here who actually allows content from *.doubleclick.* to their PCs?

I wanted MS to buy DoubleClick (4, Interesting)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748791)

Am I the only one who was disappointed when Google beat MS to this? I was hoping that MS would buy them and then force all Windows users to view the ads and kill off things like adblock etc for the Windows platform. This would have been the single biggest win for the non-Windows community ever because it would drive everyone who currently blocks DoubleClick etc off the platform.

Oh well, I can dream can't I?

I don't know what's funnier.... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748803)

Microsoft complaining that another company will have a monopoly in an area, or Microsoft expecting AT&T to join in the party.

I mean really, couldn't they at least rely on a more classy monopoly like DeBeers? Or am I missing it and they want their complaint to be made by companies that have been sanctioned themselves for violations of the anti-trust laws?

In other news today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748815)

My pagead2.* anti-advertising filter has also gained monopoly status.

Thanks Google for making advertising so easy to avoid!

Can't be all bad (1, Offtopic)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748833)

If Google buy up DoubleClick, eventually all the doubleclick URLs will change to google URLs. Then I will be able to take a line out of my Squid configuration file!

acl adverts url_regex doubleclick
acl adverts url_regex falkag
acl adverts url_regex googlesyndication\.com
acl adverts url_regex intellitxt
...
http_access deny adverts

Too... much... irony... (1)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748839)

must... counter... irony... with...

with... ... oh, hell, there IS no counter to irony.

Bwooo hoooooo uhuhuhuhu huuu uhuhu whoooo (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748857)

Its crying time eh ?

antitrust was not the littlest of concerns for microsoft while it was stamping on the competition back in 90s.

see, that was what went around, but this, THIS is what comes around. (from scrubs)

Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748881)

Y'know, I stood up for Microsoft back in the day. I hate their shit, but I hated Sun even more for using government force as a substitute for real competition. Government persecution was perhaps the only thing that endeared Microsoft to me - and now that the tables are turned, they turn right to the same thugs for their own criminal favors. This is why things are the way they are in this country - short-sighted pragmatism over principle.

Oh well, at least now I can truly cross over and become a 100% Microsoft-hating Apple Fanboy. Cool.

Advertising Monopoly? (3, Insightful)

RepCentral (1059932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748987)

I doubt that anyone can be a monopoly in advertising.
Ads aren't like fuel oil, precious metals, telephone communication,
business computers or operating systems. A customer's lack of choice
in consuming advertisements means less sales for the advertiser.
The advertiser would then be unwise to continue allocating money towards
a loosing advertising channel and the problem would correct itself.

It's hard enough to imagine a monopoly on search with 3 giant companies in
the market but a monopoly on advertising is just a silly concept to me.

If it meant that much to them (1)

Pixel Rider (1088945) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749019)

then why is there a Microsoft ad, through Google, directly below this article? You would think that MS would use their own advertising system, as opposed to pumping money into Google for theirs. Just caught my eye as I was reading.
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