RealTime IT News

DoubleClick Swallows German Competitor

DoubleClick has snapped up rival Falk eSolutions, an online ad delivery and marketing management solutions firm based in Germany, for an undisclosed sum.

Analysts say the deal helps DoubleClick, a global provider of digital advertising technology and services, expand its presence in Europe and reach a growing market there for rich media advertising.

Under the deal, DoubleClick will nearly double its European staffing by adding a development team in St. Petersburg, Russia along with offices in Dusseldorf and Amsterdam.

Falk customers will be migrated over to DoubleClick's DART system.

"The acquisition will help complement DoubleClick's strong focus in digital advertising, our innovative research and development and our ongoing investment in search, optimization and rich media," David Rosenblatt, CEO of DoubleClick, said in a statement.

The purchase gives DoubleClick control of its biggest competitor in Europe, where Falk's clients include Mediacom, mediaedge:cia Netherlands and ZenithOptimedia.

"DoubleClick already has a European footprint," said Andy Beal, CEO of Fortune Interactive, a search marketing consulting firm based in Raleigh, N.C. "This allows them to expand that dramatically."

Beal said the deal also helps DoubleClick target Europe's growing population of broadband users with rich media ads.

"It used to be that everyone ran banner ads," said Beal. "Then it was all about search marketing. Now sites are returning to video ads, interstitials and interactive banners."

Campaigns are becoming more sophisticated, interactive and targeted, he added, with rich media ads reaching customers with online surveys and free giveaways. "It's more than just annoying click-on-the-monkey kinds of ads. Companies are trying to add value."

DoubleClick is owned by Hellman and Friedman, a private equity firm that purchased it for $1.1 billion in April 2005.

The deal come a month after DoubleClick sold its e-mail marketing division to Alliance Data Systems' Epsilon Interactive for $90 million.