What is DoubleClick and It’s History
DoubleClick Inc. was an American advertisement company that developed and provided Internet ad serving services from 1995 until its acquisition by Google in March 2008. DoubleClick offered technology products and services that were sold primarily to advertising agencies and mass media, serving businesses like Microsoft, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Motorola, L’Oréal, Palm, Inc., Apple Inc., Visa Inc., Nike, Inc. and Carlsberg Group. The company’s main product line was known as DART (Dynamic Advertising, Reporting, and Targeting), which was intended to increase the purchasing efficiency of advertisers and minimize unsold inventory for publishers.
In 1995, Kevin O’Connor and Dwight Merriman developed the concept for DoubleClick in O’Connor’s basement. They created a system to display banner ads across a network of websites and track their performance to better target internet users. The product caught the attention of entrepreneur Kevin Ryan, who later joined as the company’s CFO and later became its CEO.
Later that year, O’Connor and Merriman met Fergus O’Daily, the CEO of Poppe Tyson. Poppe Tyson had created an Interactive Sales division, but lacked the technology to deliver online ads across its network of client’s sites. O’Connor, Merriman, and O’Daily decided to merge the two companies.To prevent competition from each company’s sales teams, in November 1995 DoubleClick was spun off as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary. DoubleClick was founded as one of the earliest known Application Service Providers (ASP) for internet “ad-serving”—primarily banner ads.
In February 1998, during the dot-com bubble, the company became a public company via an initial public offering. Shares rose 75% on the first day of trading.
In June 1999, DoubleClick acquired Abacus Direct, which marketed consumer-purchasing data to catalog firms.
In July 1999, DoubleClick acquired NetGravity and rebranded NetGravity AdServer as DART Enterprise.
Privacy groups complained that DoubleClick’s plan to combine its online profiling information with offline information gathered by Abacus Direct would violate privacy rules, as it would allow the company to match a person’s identity with their online habits, which it tracks through cookies. In February 2000, the FTC announced it had launched an investigation into the matter. The investigation was concluded in January 2001, with the FTC stating that it found no evidence that DoubleClick used or disclosed consumers personal identifying information.
In 2004, DoubleClick acquired Performics, which offered affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, and search engine marketing products. These products were integrated into the core DART system and rebranded DART search. DoubleClick Advertising Exchange connected both media buyers and sellers on an advertising exchange much like a traditional stock exchange. Google sold Performics in 2008 to Publicis.
In April 2005, Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, agreed to acquire the company for $1.1 billion.
On April 13, 2007, Google agreed to acquire DoubleClick for US$3.1 billion in cash. The deal raised concerns surrounding competition with both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the European Union.