Google chairman shrugs off privacy issues

Google chairman Eric Schmidt says US regulatory approval of his company's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will not be hindered by concerns over privacy, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted Schmidt  as saying that 'we're quite convinced that the proposed merger meets all of the appropriate US laws and is ultimately very good for consumers and for advertisers and publishers."

Analysts tend to agree, the report said.

The report quoted several analysts as saying that the deal would likely win regulatory approval despite advocacy groups' complaints about the two companies' privacy policies and efforts by rivals such as Microsoft to raise antitrust concerns.

Google announced its plan to buy New York-based DoubleClick last month in a $3.1 billion acquisition that privacy advocates have urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate, the report said.

Schmidt said that Google, when considering the acquisition, 'looked very carefully' at privacy and other issues that would come under legal review 'because we knew competitors would raise those issues, as indeed they have,' the Associated Press report said.

Schmidt predicted Google would clear all regulatory hurdles and complete the acquisition by the end of 2007, the report further said.