As we talked about last week, Doubleclick is for sale and Microsoft was thought to be the leader in the clubhouse to buy the advertising company.
Now there are reports (originally from the WSJ but it’s subscriber-only) that Google has joined the fray, and may be the leader with a bid up over $2 billion dollars. Very interesting.
I can’t say this is much of a surprise as I doubt any of the big web companies want the others to own Doubleclick, and because Google has been largely ineffective at getting a foothold into graphic display advertising that having Doubleclick would allow them to do so in a big way. Doubleclick has many established clients and relationships in the brand advertising space I’m sure Google would like to own.
As a couple of astute bloggers noticed, Doubleclick is rumored to be building an exchange that competes with my employer Right Media’s Exchange. Does this have anything to do with it? I’d absolutely say it’s a factor. It’s no secret the big web players know that the ad exchange model has traction as many have talked about it and Yahoo invested in Right Media, and so I’d say that both Microsoft and Google would love to have an exchange in the online advertising arsenal as well.
Also of note is that AOL is one of Doubleclick’s largest clients and might not want to remain that way if Doubleclick is owned by one of their top competitors.
Who will win out? It may be more important to Microsoft’s business, but Google may be more apt to actually pull the trigger.
Lots of additional coverage:
- Search Engine Roundtable
- Search Engine Journal
- Search Engine Land
- Marketing Pilgrim
- Paul Kedrosky
- Don Dodge