Executives from Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) will be asked to defend their purchase of DoubleClick before Congress. According to The Wall Street Journal, the hearing will center around whether the deal raises issues over consumer privacy and competition for pricing in the market.
The combination of the two companies would put the leader of search advertising together with the leader in online display advertising. At that point Google would have access to information about who, when, and where with regard to a large portion of all marketing across the internet.
The investigation may also be a result of sour grapes on the part of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO). They have no doubt written the congressmen about privacy concerns, but the actual reason behind their complaints is that it was Google and not one of them that bought DoubleClick.
It is hard to handicap whether Congressional hearings will hurt Google's chances at completing the deal for DoubleClick.
Congress tends to ask questions about things and then forget about them.
Douglas A. McIntyre is a partner at 24/7 Wall St.