Google Goes to Capitol Hill Over DoubleClick

Google is finding itself increasingly having to explain its planned acquisition of DoubleClick, and is now being asked to testify in September as part of a broader Congressional inquiry into advertising industry consolidation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hold hearings in September, and the House Commerce Subcommittee on consumer protection will question the two companies in the fall, focusing more on privacy concerns.

In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission posted on his Web site, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) said there was widespread concern over the deal.

"Concerns have focused not only on the implications for competition - in online advertising and other possibly affected markets - but also on the potentially enormous impact on consumer privacy," he wrote. Rush is the chairman of the consumer protection subcommittee.

The Senate's hearing will not solely focus on Google's merger, but will take a look at similar deals by others, including Microsoft and Yahoo. However, of all of the mergers, Google's has received the most scrutiny by both interest groups and politicians.

The Mountain View, Calif. company already wields a lot of power in the advertising industry, and some fear that allowing the acquisition of DoubleClick to proceed would give Google a monopoly over online advertising.

Google did not respond directly to the hearings, but reiterated its previous claims that the deal does not hurt competition and that it expected the deal to be approved by the end of the year.

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