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Still Looking for Acquisition Approval

This post is certified to be 100% Microsoft/Yahoo free. If you’re looking for coverage of Microsoft and Yahoo, this ain’t it.

I’m tired of hearing about it. You’re tired of hearing about it. And yet it’s still dragging on: Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick. Yes, a mere eight months after it was first announced, the merger won approval from the US’s FTC, but GoogleClick is still under the scrutiny of the European Union.

As we reported last month, the EU doesn’t seem terribly inclined to rubber stamp the deal, judging from the reported witness list:

While four of the five FTC commissioners approved the GoogleClick deal, the EU has summoned FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour, the only member of the commission to vote against the deal, as well as Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center Marc Rotenberg.

However, as Search Engine Land reminds us, even rumors that the EU is preparing a “statement of objections” don’t mean that the deal is off. While EU approval is necessary for the merger to be completed, in the past, such statements produced changes in the proposed deals to alleviate the commission’s concerns.

The commission hasn’t officially said whether it’s preparing such a statement, reminding reporters that they have until April 2 (a red letter day in the Pilgrimverse) to make their final decision—just eleven days short of a year after the initial announcement.

Historically, half of proposed mergers that have received statements of objections have made sufficient changes to be granted final approval by the commission, according to Dow Jones Newswire sources.