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provided information CPI data (generated by the use of internet) obtained by both of them, would allow the merged entity to achieve a position that could not be replicated by its integrated competitors (mainly Yahoo! and Microsoft) or "point" product competitors. As a result of this combination, Google's competitors would be progressively marginalised which would ultimately allow Google to raise the prices for its intermediation services.

  • 360.

    It is not excluded that, from a factual point of view, the merged entity would be able to combine DoubleClick's and Google's data collections. Such a combination, using information about users' IP addresses, cookie IDs and connection times to correctly match records from both databases, could result in individual users' search histories being linked to the same users' past surfing behaviour on the internet. For instance, after such a match, the merged entity may know that the same user has searched for terms A, B and C and visited web pages X, Y and Z in the past week182. Such information could potentially be used to better target ads to users.

  • 361.

    The notifying party submitted that DoubleClick's current contracts with advertisers do not allow the use of data regarding which web pages a user visited, in order to better target ads from other advertisers than those that were instrumental in bringing this data into existence, that is to say, the advertiser that had served an ad to the user when the user was visiting the web page. By extension, the merged entity would also be contractually prevented from using that part of its enlarged database originating from DoubleClick to improve, for example, targeting of search ads on Google's sites or contextual ads in the AdSense network.

  • 362.

    However, these contracts could be waived, modified or renegotiated either as a result of Google/DoubleClick's new position or in exchange for any sort of compensation given to the customers concerned by the merged entity.

  • 363.

    However, as has been noted in paragraphs 258-265, advertisers have no interest in other advertisers having access to their data and thus getting insight into competitively important information such as information about the pricing of ads across different websites. Given this probable lack of ability to force a change in contractual relations, it is also doubtful whether DoubleClick would have an incentive to try to do so since stopping to be a neutral service provider might prompt customers to switch over.

  • 364.

    Even if Google's and DoubleClick's data collections were available as input for DoubleClick it would therefore be unlikely that its competitiveness would be enhanced in a way that would confer on the merged entity a competitive advantage that could not be matched by its competitors.

  • 365.

    In this regard it must be noted that the combination of data about searches with data about users' web surfing behaviour is already available to a number of Google's competitors today. For instance, both Microsoft and Yahoo! run search

A "user" in this context means a specific browser on a specific computer. Generally this is a very good proxy for a specific person.


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