Google acquires the online advertising giant DoubleClick after receiving green light by the European Union.   Google Inc. completed its $3.1 billion acquisition of online advertising colossus DoubleClick on Tuesday after approval

from the European Union, which dismissed critics’ antitrust and privacy concerns. The merger significantly strengthens Google’s dominance in the online advertising business 11 months after its initial bid.   DoubleClick, a New York-based internet advertising company, makes much of its revenue by placing banner ads on third-party websites. Tracking users from website to website and recording what advertisements they view allows advertisers to better target consumers.   Privacy militants argue that these methods will enable Google to collect too much information about Internet users by obtaining personally identifiable information.   Such privacy issues, combined with Google’s top spot in search engine advertising, prompted an intense campaign from critics and rivals such as Microsoft to prevent the acquisition.   Their fear is that the company will unfairly dominate the internet advertising business, though the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in December and now the European Commission concluded that the two companies are not business rivals and therefore do not pose such a threat. These commissions stated that there is still a healthy competition among Google’s rivals Microsoft, Yahoo! and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL.   Recognizing that it is losing ground to Google, Microsoft has been trying to buy Yahoo! Inc., offering an unsolicited $44.6 billion bid. Google’s new acquisition only strengthens Microsoft’s need to merge and keep up with the competition.   Google’s proposal in 2007 prompted their rivals to team up with other Internet advertising companies—Microsoft bought aQuantive; Yahoo bought BlueLithium and the rest of Right Media; and AOL bought several smaller companies.   Google’s big business just got bigger, and the ramifications will be seen for years to come.   For more detailed information about the acquisition, visit Google’s Press Center.   By Danny Scuderi   FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at