Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dear FTC: please control us as we cannot control ourselves?

The American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers co-authored a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, urging them to look at the wide-ranging effects of all the recent mergers and acquisitions by Internet advertising giants like Google, Yahoo, WPP and MSN.

You know the industry is in trouble if its asking the government for help. I think that we have just seen the beginning of conglomerated advertising. Google just announced it will purchase FeedBurner, and most acquisitions happen before they are discussed in the online community.

Advertising Age - Digital - 4A's, ANA Weigh in on Google-DoubleClick, Online Ad Deals
Since Google's April 13 decision to acquire DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, there have been several other acquisitions: Yahoo announced its intent to buy out the remaining 80% share of online advertising firm Right Media for $680 million; WPP Group announced a planned acquisition of online advertising company 24/7 Real Media for $649 million; and Microsoft announced a planned acquisition of aQuantive, which owns Atlas, Drive PM and Avenue A/Razorfish, for $6 billion.

What do you think about all the mergers, buyouts, acquisitions and reorganizations? Do you think the government should step in? Do you feel that large ad conglomerates will offer highly integrated media services or an ala carte menu of offerings?

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