Microsoft proves that irony is dead

Maybe that’s why Microsoft passed on DoubleClick and let Google take it away for $3.1-billion — so then the Redmond-based behemoth could jump up and down (NYT link) and wave its arms and complain about how big, bad Google is taking control of online advertising.

snipshot_e415ows4ncdj.jpgAfter all, isn’t there a law or something about how much of a market a company can control, and how it can behave when it has that kind of market power? Oh yeah, that’s right — that’s the same law that Microsoft spend tens of millions of dollars arguing was wrongly applied in its case, a case that makes Google’s “control” of online advertising look like a Sunday school picnic. And yet, in a statement on the Microsoft web site, general counsel Brad Smith complains that:

“This proposed acquisition raises serious competition and privacy concerns in that it gives the Google DoubleClick combination unprecedented control in the delivery of online advertising, and access to a huge amount of consumer information by tracking what customers do online.”

Scoble says that the complaint “sounds a lot like Microsoft is now the company who had its ass kicked in the marketplace and is running to government regulators to get some relief.” Indeed. And obviously Scoble and I aren’t the only ones to notice the irony.

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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