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FTC: We won't block Google-DoubleClick merger

Controversial ad deal valued at $3.1 billion "unlikely to substantially lessen competition," agency rules in 4-1 vote.

Federal Trade Commission regulators said Thursday that Google's controversial $3.1 billion merger proposal with DoubleClick can proceed, despite earlier complaints raised by competitors and privacy advocates.

FTC regulators have been reviewing the proposed merger for months for possible antitrust violations, after Google announced plans in April to acquire the online ad serving company.

"After carefully reviewing the evidence, we have concluded that Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick is unlikely to substantially lessen competition" in the online advertising space, the commissioners wrote in their majority statement.

The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour issuing a dissent that reflected her "alternate predictions about where this market is heading, and the transformative role the combined Google/DoubleClick will play if the proposed acquisition is consummated."

For more in-depth coverage, see "FTC allows Google-DoubleClick merger to proceed."