Will Europe Let Google Out of the Penalty Box?

Saul Hansell of the New York Times feels that Google’s year in the penalty box may be over.
Reuters and Bloomberg report that the European Union is preparing to approve Google’s pending acquisition of DoubleClick, the advertising technology firm. The deal, which was announced last April, has been delayed mainly because of protests by Microsoft that Google would gain monopoly power in the online advertising business.
The acquisition was approved in the United States in December, but European regulators have been looking at it more closely. The deadline for action in Europe is April 2, but Bloomberg reports that action could be taken as soon as next week.
Now that Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo, tripling its share of the search ad share and vaulting to the top of the online display ad business, maybe it doesn’t look like such an injured party.

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