Precursor President Scott Cleland testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights and recommended the panel oppose the proposed Google-DoubleClick merger. In his testimony, Cleland explained that the Google-DoubleClick merger would create extreme market concentration and “tip” the online advertising market, the economically critical market which is the only proven monetization engine of Internet content, to a bottleneck.
“This merger review is a watershed moment for internet competition,” Cleland said. “I believe Google-DoubleClick is clearly one of the most far- reaching, least-understood and important mergers this subcommittee has ever reviewed.”
Explaining the high stakes of lax antitrust enforcement, Cleland stated the DoubleClick acquisition would enable Google to become the de facto:
* “Online-advertising bottleneck provider”, picking Internet content
winners and losers;
* “Ultimate Internet Gatekeeper”, deciding which Internet content gets
* “Internet’s paymaster”, determining which Web sites get paid how much;
* “Internet market maker” that has uniquely comprehensive market
intelligence and information on advertisers, websites, ad-inventory,
viewers, and Internet user behavior.
“The combined Google-DoubleClick would have no effective checks and balances and little accountability to consumers, competition, regulators, or third-party oversight,” Cleland said.