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between ad networks, a substantial relative price increase would be necessary

    • (e.

      g. a very significant price increase for DFP used on other networks).

  • 200.

    Similar considerations apply on the advertiser side. Based on the example provided by the complainant120, if the merged entity was to increase the price of DFA for serving ads on competing ad networks by 10%, this would trigger an increase in the advertiser's total costs of about 0.4%121. As with the publisher side, the price increase in ad serving necessary to cause advertisers to switch networks would need to be quite substantial.

  • 201.

    Accordingly, the market investigation confirmed that an increase of prices of stand-alone ad serving tools that would make customers, that is to say publishers, advertisers and intermediators, switch to other forms of advertising would have to be quite large, "fairly dramatic" and "unlikely" and would ultimately trigger switching to other ad serving solutions.

  • 202.

    Finally, even if the complainant's argument were to be fully accepted, the ad serving costs for unbundled platforms still account for a relatively low proportion of the total costs of intermediation incurred by unbundled platforms122. In other words, the market investigation established that the degree of substitution between DoubleClick's ad serving tools and Google's intermediation services is limited. It is therefore unlikely that the parties would have unilateral incentives to increase prices after the merger.

7.2.1.2. DoubleClick faces competition from other ad serving companies that could be part of the unbundled solutions

203.

Based on the analysis above, the Commission concluded that an eventual

post-merger increase of the price of DoubleClick's ad serving tools is unlikely to lead to a switch of publishers and advertisers from unbundled solutions towards the Google bundled solution. More realistically, such a price increase would

lead to present on this

switching towards competing suppliers of stand-alone ad serving tools

in the market. market, such

Given the competitive constraint that DoubleClick faces

price

increase

would

be

unlikely.

Indeed,

the

market

investigation has serving tools are on DoubleClick.

confirmed that a number of today present in the market

viable providers of stand-alone ad and exert a competitive constraint

Actual competitors

204.

As has

competitors shares the competitors

been stated in paragraphs 121-122, on the advertiser-side these include aQuantive/Atlas (recently acquired by Microsoft), which market equally with DoubleClick (around 40% each). Other are Mediaplex/ValueClick, BlueStreak/Aegis, ADTECH/AOL,

120

See footnote 116.

121

From the point of view of the advertiser, the cost of ad serving represents 3.8% (7.5/200) of the price of the ad.

122

See footnote 114.

56

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