Yahoo has announced the clearance of its acquisition of Right Media for $650 million. This leaves the Google/DoubleClick deal for last to be cleared in the dealings made this past spring.
This clearance adds Yahoo to the approved club with Microsoft and WPP. These companies have passed through the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust waiting period for their acquisitions. This means that the FTC did not see a need to go into any further investigation, nor was there a found need to prevent the acquisitions in the interest of market competition.
Even though the FTC does not feel a need to be concerned with the acquisitions previously mentioned, shareholders still need to approve the Microsoft/aQuantive deal.
Yahoo is now approved to concentrate on the future of its display ads. Google/DoubleClick however, remains under the microscope of the FTC. There has not been an official comment made by the FTC, yet there is speculation that input from outside sources such as the ANA and 4A’s has something to do with the holdup.
Anand Subramanian, CEO of ContextWeb is one of many industry insiders that have soured over the Google and Yahoo deals. “The core reason people are willing to work with an exchange is because they’re independent. The moment you’re tied to a big corporation, publishers and advertisers alike get worried.”
There is still concern, however of the projected success of these acquisitions. Yahoo, with its internal changes is ambitious, but has come up short in some cases over the years. The company had acquired Overture for paid search improvements, and yet they are still far behind Google.
Subramanian stresses that the industry will be watching, “They’re a big organization with lots of challenges, and Right Media was this smaller company moving at 100 miles-per-hour. It will be interesting to see whether this slows them down to 10 mph or speeds them up to 200.”