If there was any doubt that the search engines want to each the affiliate networks lunch, then this news, if true, should remove that doubt:
“Google Inc. has emerged with Microsoft Corp. as a contender to buy online advertising company DoubleClick Inc., according to a media report Monday. The competition between Google and The competition between Google is likely to drive up DoubleClick’s price beyond $2 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported in ins online edition, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation. DoubleClick acts as a middleman between advertisers and ad agencies and online publishers“
DoubleClick has hooks into 1500 advertisers, many of whom are big name corporates. Such a move would take out a big competitor, and give either Microsoft or Google an established advertiser base, whom they will, no doubt, direct to their other online advertising programs.
Then there’s the data…