Aussie Regulators Scrutinize Google/DoubleClick Deal

A helpful reminder from the Outback that a merger of Google and DoubleClick would be a joining of global organizations, not merely American ones: The Sydney Herald reported yesterday that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have begun an “informal review” of the proposed deal on the theory it might be anti-competitive, just as the EU anti-trust watchdog did in July.

But assuming for a moment the ACCC or EU does in fact deem the deal untoward, what could they do about an agreement between two businesses with headquarters in the U.S.? Certainly not block it. Options might include penalties, fees and legal obstructions to Google doing business in the countries in question. Or regulators could try to limit how individual Australian businesses use the compnay’s services, but monitoring that use and enforcing it is a prospect that would make our loathed Sarbanes-Oxley rules seem as innocuous as filling out a form.

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