Microsoft (MSFT) has quietly been approaching other companies with large internet properties and regulators in an attempt to scuttle the Google (GOOG) deal to buy huge online ad serving company DoubleClick. It has hired big PR firm Burson-Marsteller to help. As a matter of fact, some of the firms that Burson has contacted on the matter do not know that Microsoft is the client.
Microsoft should do whatever it can to get in the way of Google’s plans. The search company already dominates market share in the US with well over half the searches done on its service. This allows it to have the largest business in targeted search advertising. If Google gets a strong foothold in the display ad business through DoubleClick, which services thousand of internet websites, Microsoft may have to give up on having any chance of getting its MSN and Live search businesses into the first tier.
At this point, Microsoft is fighting to stay in the online business. Over the last two or three years, it has been losing that fight. And if Google gets its hands on DoubleClick, that will be much worse.
Douglas A. McIntyre