engines and offer ad serving. Competitors may also purchase data or targeting services from third parties such as comScore, a global internet information provider which maintains extensive proprietary databases that provide a measurement of the various ways in which the internet is used. Data is also available from internet service providers, which can track all of the online behaviour of their users, following them to every website they visit. Several companies offer appliances for "deep packet inspection" of network traffic routed through internet service providers in order to extract information that is meaningful for ad targeting183. Data collected in this way is potentially much broader and richer than data collected by DoubleClick (or even the merged entity) or any of its rivals because contrary to the merged entity's data collection efforts, this data source covers every page on every site a user visits.
From this, it follows that the possible combination of data of Google and DoubleClick post-merger is very unlikely to bring more traffic to AdSense so as to squeeze out competitors and ultimately enable the merged entity to charge higher prices for its intermediation services.
For the reasons set out above, it is concluded that the proposed concentration would not significantly impede effective competition in the common market or in a substantial part of it. The concentration should therefore be declared compatible with the common market pursuant to Article 8(1) of the Merger Regulation and with the EEA Agreement pursuant to Article 57 thereof.
This Decision refers exclusively to the appraisal of this operation with Community rules on competition, namely whether the merger is compatible with the objectives of the Merger Regulation in that it does not impede effective competition in the common market. As enshrined in Recital 36 of the Merger regulation, the Community respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union184. In any event, this Decision is without prejudice to the obligations imposed onto the parties by Community legislation in relation to the protection of individuals and the protection of privacy with regard to the processing of personal data, in particular Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data 185 and Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications)186 and Member States implementing
See Bobby White: "Watching What You See on the Web. New Gear Lets ISPs Track Users and Sell Targeted Ads; More Players, Privacy Fears", The Wall Street Journal, 06/12/2007, p. B1.
OJ C 364, 12.12.2000, p. 1.
OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31.
OJ L 201, 31.7.2002, p. 37.