Google Closes on DoubleClick
It's good to be Google right now. Its two ostensible archrivals, Microsoft
and Yahoo, are mired in a takeover battle. And now it's
: Google owns the online ad agency DoubleClick.
Earlier this week, Google cleared its final hurdle in the DoubleClick deal
when the European Commission unconditionally approved the $3.1 billion purchase.
As the ink was drying on the EC's permission slip, Google sealed the deal with
DoubleClick. It got approval for the deal from the U.S.
antitrust officials toward the end of last year.
Despite protests from online privacy advocates and potential GoogleClick competitors,
the EC gave the deal a green light, citing no apparent competitive issues or
conflicts. "Google and DoubleClick were not exerting major competitive
constraints on each other's activities and could, therefore, not be considered
as competitors at the moment," it reported in a statement released along
with the announcement. I love the "at the moment" part. Think the
EC knows something we don't?
I suppose this approval was inevitable, what with all the other consolidations
going on in the online ad industry. Microsoft bought aQuantive, Yahoo bought
BlueLithium and AOL bought Tacoda. Now they're all nicely paired.
Here I am once
again writing about online companies becoming ad agencies and feeling a
little uneasy about the whole thing. How do you feel? Send me your thoughts
EMC Loses and Wins
You win some and you lose some. No one knows that better this week than EMC.
It lost one fish, but won another. At least this puts it one fish ahead.
EMC just put
up $178 million to scoop up portable storage vendor Iomega. This move would've
helped EMC gain a stronger foothold in the SMB and consumer markets. In the
end, though, Iomega said thanks, but no thanks. Industry analysts expect EMC
to continue pursuing the deal and upping the ante.
Iomega said in a prepared statement that it rejected the deal because it "would
not reasonably constitute a superior proposal." By that, it was referring
to a transfer of stock deal with ExcelStor Technology, in which ExcelStor shareholders
would maintain a 60 percent ownership stake in Iomega.
EMC has been on quite the shopping spree lately. Last year, it bought Berkeley
Data Systems, creators of the Mozy Web-based backup service; and Pi Corp., which
has an online data management system. Its successful acquisitions continue with
announcement: EMC has just scooped up privately held Infra Corp., a small
Australian firm that develops help desk management software. Since Infra Corp
was privately held, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Guess someone at EMC has an itchy trigger finger when it comes to "Add
to Cart." And I thought I was bad. What do you think of EMC's strategy?
Are you using any of EMC's products, or any from its many partners and acquisitions?
Let me know at email@example.com.
E-Mail Security Could Be Better
That's the short-answer result of Webroot's latest report, "The State of
Internet Security: Protecting Business Email." The report states that e-mail
has quickly become the most critical type of business document used today --
no great surprise there. It backs up that assertion by quoting IDC, which predicts
that companies worldwide will send 6.62 trillion business e-mails this year.
The report finds that despite stories in the press and repeated warnings about
the dangers of anything online, most businesses aren't doing much to protect
themselves from e-mail-borne security threats. Experience may have to be a harsher
instructor, as companies all over also reported negative impacts from such threats.
Here are some of the report's highlights:
- 75 percent of the organizations surveyed report that e-mail is essential
for customer communication.
- More than half were attacked by spyware and viruses last year.
- One in five reported a moderate or major business disruption, or a threat
to confidential transactions, due to spam.
- 65 percent experienced at least one e-mail outage over the last year. One
in three estimated the cost of each outage at $1,000 or more per hour.
- Less than 50 percent of the larger companies surveyed (with more than 100
computers) enforce policies restricting personal employee e-mail. Among smaller
companies (those with less than 100 computers), less than one-third enforce
Check in with Webroot (http://www.webroot.com)
if you want to see the full report.
How does your organization handle e-mail security? This can be scary stuff.
What's your strategy and how has it been working? I promise I'll safeguard your
e-mail when I receive your response at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mailbag: More on the Mac
Here are some more
of your thoughts on Mac affordability, and Doug's hypothetical Microsoft-buys-the-Mac-OS
I just had to chime in on this one. After running every Windows OS since
Windows 3.0 and working as an ASP.NET application developer for many years,
I just bought my first Mac. Refusing to accept the artificial limitation of
a Mac-vs.-Wintel religious war, I had to find out what all the hype was about.
I figured that if Microsoft could use the Mac OS as a benchmark for design
ideas, I might as well do the same in my Web apps. I was also tired of trying
to manage my personal archive of photos, music, videos, etc. on the collage
of dysfunctional Windows-based products.
I have found the Mac to be stable and very intuitive to use. Probably
due to the fact that Apple owns both the hardware AND the software, it is
the first machine that I have ever run where the wireless LAN works as it
should -- type in the security password, watch it connect, then forget about
it. Add to this the fact that I don't have to decide between the Mac and Windows
(I just run Fusion by VMware to run Windows concurrently as a virtual machine
within the Mac OS), and I'm hooked. The support in the Apple stores is so
incredible, I view it as a disruptive force in the PC world. I get training
and my questions answered right in the store. I have been so happy with my
purchase that I bought additional support and training from Apple, and I also
bought the stock.
You know you get what you pay for with a Mac and, according
to PC Magazine, Mac OS wins the OS wars.
Finally, to answer your question about whether Microsoft should buy the
Mac OS: Only if you want to ruin the best OS forever and leave us with no
choice but to go back to IBM typewriters.
Want to comment on any of the topics discussed today? Send an e-mail to email@example.com,
or leave your comment below!
Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.