Stepping Up to the Plate: The Google-Doubleclick Merger and the Role of the Federal Trade Commission in Protecting Online Data Privacy
32 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2009
Date Written: April 25, 2008
The recent acquisition of DoubleClick by Google was seen by privacy organizations such as the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Center for Digital Democracy, and others as an opportunity to have those questions answered by U.S. and EU regulators. But the merger was approved without conditions, despite the work of those concerned with privacy to encourage the merger reviews on both sides of the Atlantic to consider the implications of one company having so much personally identifiable data of Web users as a factor. The point of this paper is not to argue that the merger should have been denied, or had conditions tied to it; rather, it is to make a case for the inclusion of issues of data privacy/protection as a part of this, and future, merger reviews of companies who are currently entrusted with vast amounts of consumer data with minimal or occasional oversight.
Keywords: user privacy, data protection, Google, DoubleClick, FTC, antitrust, merger guidelines
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