EU to approve Google-DoubleClick deal

Google is expected to receive unconditional approval from European Union regulators next week for its €2.01 billion/US$3.1 billion takeover of ad firm DoubleClick, a Reuters report said.

Citing sources familiar with the situation, the Reuters report said the approval has long been expected because the European Commission decided in January not to object formally to the transaction.

The Commission, the EU's regulatory body, has never rejected a deal without sending formal objections, the Reuters report claimed.

Privacy advocates have objected to the deal, saying it would give the two firms unprecedented access to information about consumers, the report added. The Commission has said privacy considerations are outside the scope of its authority over mergers.

The deal would combine Internet search engine giant Google's dominance in pay-per-click web advertising with DoubleClick's market-leading position in display advertising.

The report stated that the planned acquisition won approval from the Federal Trade Commission in December.

For the past six years, the EU has never rejected a merger approved by US authorities.

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