THE FTC has approved GOOGLE’s $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick, but the deal still requires acceptance by the European Commission. In conjunction with its decision the FTC released a set of guidelines for the burgeoning online ad industry, recommending greater consumer control over privacy and online tracking. Privacy issues have been a major concern surrounding the merger, as Google builds an ever-larger collection of consumer data. European officials, however, say the law limits them to considering the anti-competitive ramifications of the deal. The EC’s final decision is expected by April 2nd.
AOL has completed its acquisition of targeted advertising company QUIGO. The deal will give AOL expanded ability to place contextual ads on its own properties as well as third-party sites. Quigo is now a fully-owned subsidiary working under AOL’s Platform A division.
COMEDY CENTRAL will resume production for both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on January 7th. The shows are planning to return without writers, another major blow to the WGA strike. The Guild issued a statement criticizing Comedy Central for resuming production. In related news, the Guild granted a waiver requesting WGA writers for the Independent Spirit Awards, just days after denying a similar request for The Golden Globes. A waiver request is still pending for The Oscars but the Guild has indicated it will be rejected.
VEOH claims to have grown from 2.5 million unique monthly viewers to 21.5 million during 2007 - a 760% increase. According to company figures, Veoh served 30 million hours of content during November alone and is seeing 900,000 installations of VeohTV per month. However, the most important statistic may be this: Veoh says that 40% of its views occur during prime-time TV hours.
LIFETIME is planning to embrace online video for three new reality shows dedicated to fashion, dating and party-planning. MyLifetime.com will feature supplemental short clips as well as full-length streaming episodes before the shows premiere on TV. Video fashion tips, online chats and more will offer increased engagement for viewers. Previews will also be available on iTunes and Yahoo.
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