SM: Do you think the Doubleclick acquisition brings relationships to the table which would take Google a long time to build? RF: I don’t know about that. I don’t mean this in a negative way about the acquisition. I am skeptical that there is any relationship which DoubleClick has, which Google does not already have. It may deepen relationships with certain advertisers or publishers. At the end of the day I suspect Google and Yahoo don’t have a problem picking up the phone and getting the decision maker of any major media company or ad agency in the world.
SM: Your view of the acquisition then is Google gains the infrastructure supporting display ads, which is moderately valuable. It could have been built, but it would have taken longer? RF: From my perspective it did not seems surprising because Google is so large and makes so much money that the price probably does not really matter. It seems much more defensive than offensive. I believe Google already had all of the relationships anyways, but maybe Microsoft or Yahoo does not have those relationships as deeply, so buying DoubleClick is a great move for Google because they get to keep an asset away from other people that might have been able to capitalize on it more.
SM: Interesting. I agree that it is a defensive acquisition, but not only because Google wanted to prevent Microsoft or Yahoo to get their hands on the relationships. I think, it is a defensive acquisition because Google needs to get into display advertising in a meaningful way, and acquiring Doubleclick is a FAST way of doing so.