FTC Gives Google The Go-Ahead on DoubleClick

In a decision highly anticipated by Silicon Valley, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission ruled Thursday that Google's proposed buyout of web-advertising firm DoubleClick can move forward.

The deal, which has been pending since April 2007, would see Google purchase DoubleClick from Hellman & Friedman, a Silicon Valley private investment firm. The merger attracted a great deal of controversy, with charges that Google's business is too close to DoubleClick's, and that a merger would give Google an unfair advantage in the online advertising market. Similar deals involving Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo! were cleared earlier in the year.

The transaction is still on hold awaiting the results of the European Commission's investigation into the deal, which is scheduled to conclude in the first quarter of 2008.

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