The thing that most surprised me about the news coverage regarding Microsoft lobbying to thwart Google’s DoubleClick acquisition is that anyone is surprised.
The UK Guardian got its hands on an e-mail that PR agency Burson-Marsteller has sent out to various UK businesses. According to the Guardian, B-M, on behalf of Microsoft, is seeking support for a new organization — the “Initiative for Competitive Online Marketplaces” — which is gearing up to make a bunch of pronouncements regarding Google, Internet privacy and copyright.
The timing of the anti-Google campaign is seemingly designed to coincide with the U.S. Congress’, U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s and the European Commission’s pending investigations of Google’s $3.1 billion takeover of DoubleClick. Both Microsoft and the No. 2 search vendor, Yahoo, have objected to the deal that would merge the two biggest online advertisers. (In an ironic twist, Microsoft also bid on DoubleClick, but lost, and subsequently acquired advertising bigwig aQuantive for $6 billion.)
I guess folks have forgotton that…
Microsoft, Google, DoubleClick, Article