Economic Reality

Scott Cleland’s Sunday Commentary column, "Ultimate Internet gatekeeper?" described the potential Google acquisition of DoubleClick as a dire situation that would offer "no real competitive choice" to businesses seeking to advertise online. Unfortunately, Mr. Cleland has lost all sense of economic reality.

In a highly contestable and dynamic market such as Internet advertising, any market-dominant position would be shortlived. With high profits and low barriers to entry, many competitors would spring up to counter Google.

If Standard Oil’s monopoly power could be dissipated because of competitive forces before 1911, what hope is there for Google to maintain a monopoly?

Mr. Cleland’s criticism of DoubleClick is also misplaced. The government is the ultimate source of privacy infringement. Attacking Google and DoubleClick for its surveillance capabilities is pure hyperbole. If you are concerned with monopoly power and privacy, blame the federal government, not Google.