Google to Acquire DoubleClick For $3.1 Billion

Google announced late on Friday that it would purchase online advertising firm DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in cash from its two primary owners, the private equity firms of Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity.

In addition to picking up a second form of advertising to complement its AdSense technology, Google gets demographic data and the tools to gather such information, plus DoubleClick’s clients.

The combination of Google  and DoubleClick joins two of the biggest players in online advertising, with minimal overlap in styles. Google’s AdSense business is algorithm-driven and is based on clickable links, whereas DoubleClick places targeted banner ads on sites like MySpace, The Wall Street Journal and America Online.

The move is also a big setback for Google’s nemesis Microsoft , which was also in talks to acquire DoubleClick, according to a Wall Street Journal article last month. The article said DoubleClick was talking to the Redmond company “and other potential suitors” believed to be Yahoo and AOL.

If the deal is approved, it will close by the end of the year. The DoubleClick acquisition comes just six months after Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube.

DoubleClick was an early pioneer in online advertising and one of the few success stories to survive the dot-com implosion earlier in the decade. The company was taken private in 2005 by the two private equity firms for $1.1 billion.

Last year, DoubleClick acquired Klipmart, the nation’s largest provider of online video advertising and management solutions for Web publishers.

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