DoubleClick Ruminations: Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft
In an earlier post, I suggested that if Microsoft bought DoubleClick, Google would launch a competing network and price it close enough to free to crush Redmond’s acquisition. As instead Google grabbed the deal, here are my revised observations and prognostications, with weekend help from smart writers across the blogosphere.
* Like Paul Graham wrote, Microsoft is dead. For those needing the Cliff notes, “dead” doesn’t mean MSFT is going away. It means they’re just not relevant anymore. And Graham was writing before this DoubleClick deal.
* Paul Bryant suggests one way Microsoft could kill Google: block all text ads in IE. My favorite quote from Paul’s post: Microsoft would probably need to block their own ads too, in order to make the effort legitimate, but how big a loss would that be for them really, on a relative basis? Not going to happen, but interesting.
* Microsoft & ATT are already shouting “antitrust”. Expect a DOJ or Senate investigation into Google’s “monoply” in 2007/2008.
* Google will sell Performics off from DoubleClick (Stephan Spencer’s scenario #1), just to avoid adding fuel to the antitrust fire.
* Google will assimilate DoubleClick’s patents and IP (nice discussion from Bill Slawski about those) , but suspect they’ll scrap rapidly scrap the Doublclick codebase and rebuild it. Google didn’t buy DoubleClick for technology: they’d rather build their own bricks (from Eric Schmidt). I’d wager the DoubleClick code is a few years old and crufty. Google will rapidly rebuild it, integrate it into the AdWords interface, and sell the advertising via the auction model, CPM and CPC both.
* Microsoft will make an offer to aquire Yahoo! within 12 months. Not sure if that deal will go through, but I’m pessimistic about the success of such a merger if it did.