The Federal Trade Commission has opened an antitrust investigation into Google Inc.’s proposed $3.1 billion purchase of New York City-based ad-management technology company DoubleClick Inc.
The review of the deal was widely expected after Mountain View-based Google announced plans last month to acquire DoubleClick, a company that helps its customers place and track online advertising.
DoubleClick helps its customers place and track online advertising, including search ads, which Google — more than its nearest search competitors Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. — has turned into an extremely lucrative business.
DoubleClick had been the target of a fierce bidding war between Microsoft and Google. Though Google commands the bulk of the online advertising search market, the addition of DoubleClick’s technology and client network would further its efforts to branch out beyond its core ad offerings.