Aug 19, 2007

Live In San-Jose: "Has Google's Growth Come At A Price??"

So, I'm all set for only my second SES event - here in San Jose. I'm told this one is the mother of all SES events and I'm looking forward to hearing all that it has to offer. Personally, I'm more interested in the Business of Search, so I like to comment on trends which I believe will impact the Search Business Landscape. I'm sure all Search Engines want to make the World's Information readily available to everyone, but to do that, you need $$$$$ and plenty of it.

That's why I was drawn to an article in the San Jose Mecury News today - titled "Google's Growth Has Come at a Price" - that's not saying much, any form of astronomical growth always comes at a price. Since Google went public in Aug '04 - at $85/Share, its market value has grwon nearly 500% to $156Billion. In Comparison, MSFTs value is not reflected in it's current valuations. Ah - but now, Google is feeling the heat from the dreaded Anti-trust regulators. Seems that the proposed purchase of DoubleClick doesn't sit well with those trust folks in the US - even the Europeans are keen to scrutinize the deal.
So now, the shoe is on the other foot - and Google is playing defense. Basically, the Anti-Trust folks are concerned about two key points.

1. Google's apparent dominance of the rapidly growing Online Advertising Landscape would be made much stronger by the purchase of DoubleClick, with it's strengh in serving and tracking Display ads.

2. Double Click and Google individually have vast amounts of personal information on peoples online surfing / buying habits and trends.

This may be seen as a "Microsoft like" dominant position which could effectively eliminate competition in the Online services sector. Somehow, I think Yahoo and MSN may have something to say about that - but niether will complain about the regulators interest in Google.

Perhaps there's more to all this than it seems. Certainly Google stands to gain from the purchase of Double Click, however - there is growing animosity against the company, and probably plenty of envy to boot. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out - Sergey and Larry would do well to learn from the painful lessons of others...........

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