In a case of the foxes watching the henhouse, Microsoft is employing a bit of lobbying to boost inquiries into the pending acquisition of DoubleClick by Google. Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet says today that nobody should be surprised that Microsoft is lobbying on this issue, because the company does it all the time, of course, along with Google and the tech giants' peers, like, say, Yahoo (another fox).
In the case of DoubleClick, which Microsoft wanted to buy before Google got the deal and Microsoft then purchased aQuantive earlier this year, Redmond is taking the position that the merging of these two companies will create an unfair advantage in the online advertising market, giving Google control of fully 80 percent of all ads on the Internet.
It's a ploy that seems moot at this point, as the EU, the U.S. Congress and the FTC are all reviewing the DoubleClick purchase already -- and Google requested that the EU do so, as Foley mentions in her blog.
Interestingly, Google is also currently leading a proposal to the United Nations and a long list of international standards and regulatory bodies for a global online privacy standard, according to this News.com piece. Along with the anti-competitive arguments Microsoft is making against a Google-DoubleClick marriage, it's pointing out that consumers may be hurt by the concentration of user information that will be created in the deal -- an argument that is clearly of secondary concern to Microsoft in this case but which is again made moot by Google's leadership position in proposals like this one. Not to mention Google's courting of the EU, a lobbying effort that Microsoft might want to take notes on.
So my question is, if Google's DoubleClick purchase doesn't go through after all reviews are completed, will Microsoft make another offer for it?