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Google gets even more ambitious
Written by Daniel   
Friday, 28 December 2007 12:43
Google gets even more ambitious
By Elinor Mills
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: December 28, 2007, 4:00 AM PST
If Google were an adolescent lad, 2007 would mark the year his voice cracked.

Last year, Google remained at the top of its search class. This year, the company tried out for the wireless varsity teams, played hooky with YouTube, and courted cheerleader DoubleClick.
There was a wave of consolidation in the online advertising space, with search companies gobbling up ad firms like crazy. Google started it off by offering $3.1 billion to acquire online ad serving and ad exchange provider DoubleClick in April. The merger was kept in limbo most of the year due to privacy and antitrust concerns voiced by lawmakers, privacy advocates, and rivals like Microsoft.

Last week, however, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission gave its approval for the Google-DoubleClick deal. But the transaction is expected to be a tough sell in Europe, where regulators face an April 2 deadline for deciding.

Yahoo kicked off 2007 by acquiring Right Media, which runs an online ad exchange, and then later in the year it purchased online ad network Blue Lithium.

Microsoft spent a whopping $6 billion for online ad serving firm Aquantive in May, then bought ad exchange AdECN in July.

Not to be outdone, AOL acquired behavioral ad targeting firm Tacoda. And advertising giant WPP Group got in on the act, buying 24/7, a search-based ad-serving company.

While trying to become an advertising powerhouse, Google also staked out turf in the mobile and wireless-spectrum areas in the hopes of broadening access to its Internet search and other services.

Following years of "Google Phone" speculation, the company in November finally launched the Android mobile-software platform and the Open Handset Alliance of device makers, carriers, and others who aim to create an ecosystem for next-generation Internet-enabled phones.... More   Comment in the Forums
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