BEUC calls for investigation into Google’s DoubleClick bid

google.gifEuropean consumer group BEUC has slammed Google’s move to buy online ad server DoubleClick calling on the European Competition Commissioner to investigate whether the proposed $3bn (£1.5bn) deal will have a “negative impact” on online advertising and consumer choice.

The group, which represents European consumers across 14 states and is 40% funded by the European Union, has send a letter to Neelie Kroes, the commissioner, outlining its concerns. It says the deal “may have a negative impact on the selection of online content available to consumers and on privacy” because the deal will make create a monopoly in online advertising across both search and display.

In the US, the federal commission has already been called on to investigate the deal after consumers raised the same concerns.

If Kroes does decide the deal breaks EU anti-trust laws, she would be able to quash the deal or force Google to divest parts of its business. Last month the EU forced Google to reduce the time it retains users’ personal search data to 18 months from 24 months.

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