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Subsidiary of Google
IndustryOnline advertising
FoundedFebruary 1996; 22 years ago (1996-02)
New York City
HeadquartersNew York City[1]
Key people
– Stephanie Abramson, Executive VP and General Counsel
– Neal Mohan, Senior VP of Strategy and Product Development
– Stuart Frankel, Senior VP of DoubleClick & GM of Performics
– John M. Rehl, Senior VP, Global Technical Services
ProductsDART family includes DFP (For Publishers), DFA (For Advertisers), DS (DART Search), Motif (Rich Media), DE (Enterprise), Sales Manager (Publisher), Media Visor (Advertisers), Adapt (Publishers), Doubleclick Advertising Exchange (Both Publishers & Advertisers)
ParentGoogle (Alphabet Inc.)

DoubleClick was a brand of Google which developed and provided Internet ad serving services. Its clients included agencies, marketers and publishers who served businesses like Microsoft, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Motorola, L'Oréal, Palm, Apple, Visa, Nike, and Carlsberg among others.

DoubleClick was founded in 1995 by Kevin O'Connor and Dwight Merriman and had headquarters in New York City, United States. It was formerly listed as "DCLK"[2] on the Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ), and was initially purchased by private equity firms Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity in July 2005.

In March 2008, Google acquired DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. In June 2018, Google announced plans to rebrand its ads platforms, and DoubleClick was merged into the new Google Marketing Platform brand.[3]


Early years[edit]

In 1995, Kevin O'Connor and Dwight Merriman developed the concept for DoubleClick in O'Connor's basement. The pair created a system to display banner ads across a network of websites and track their performance to better target internet users. [4] The product caught the attention of entrepreneur Kevin Ryan, who later joined as the company's CFO and later became its CEO.[4]

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.[5][6] The merger caused some issues at Poppe Tyson, however, because it meant that Poppe's sales force would compete against the internal sales teams of the websites it served. To remedy the situation, in November 1995 they spun off DoubleClick as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary.[5] DoubleClick was founded as one of the earliest known Application Service Provider (ASP) for internet "ad-serving"—primarily banner ads.[7]

Early developments[edit]

DoubleClick launched an IPO on the NASDAQ under the "DCLK" ticker symbol in early 1998.[8] In June 1999, DoubleClick announced that it would merge with Abacus Direct Corp., which marketed consumer-purchasing data to catalog firms.[9] Soon after, 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.[10][11] In February 2000, The FTC announced it had launched an investigation into the matter.[12] The investigation was concluded in early 2001, with the FTC stating that it found no evidence that DoubleClick used or disclosed consumers personal identifying information.[13] [14]

In April 2005, Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, announced its intent to acquire the company for $1.1 billion.[15] Following the acquisition, the company was separated into two divisions, an internet ad-management business and a data-solutions business for direct marketers.[15]

Acquisition by Google, Inc.[edit]

Google announced on April 13, 2007 that it had come to a definitive agreement to acquire DoubleClick for US $3.1 billion in cash.[16][17] The deal raised concerns surrounding competition with both the FTC and the European Union. In May 2007, the FTC requested additional information about the deal after it was urged by competitors, including Microsoft,[18] who believed it would give Google too much control over online advertising.[19] On December 20, 2007, the FTC approved Google's purchase of DoubleClick from its owners Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity, saying, "after carefully reviewing the evidence, we have concluded that Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick is unlikely to substantially lessen competition."[20] European Union regulators granted approval on March 11, 2008, and Google completed the acquisition later that day.[21] On April 2, 2008, Google announced it would cut 300 jobs at DoubleClick due to organizational redundancies. Selected employees would be matched within the Google organization as per position and experience.[22]

In 2007, shortly after the announcement of the acquisition, it was reported that DoubleClick had been serving ads designed to trick users into buying malware. This occurred after a malicious website tricked several name-brand websites into serving the ads. [23]


DoubleClick offers technology products and services that are sold primarily to advertising agencies and media companies to allow clients to traffic, target, deliver, and report on their interactive advertising campaigns. The company's main product line is formally known as DART, which is designed for advertisers and publishers. DART automates the administration effort in the ad buying cycle for advertisers (DoubleClick for Advertisers, or DFA) and the management of ad inventory for publishers (DoubleClick for Publishers, or DFP). It is intended to increase the purchasing efficiency of advertisers and to minimize unsold inventory for publishers. DART Enterprise is the rebranded version of NetGravity AdServer, which DoubleClick acquired with its purchase of NetGravity in 1999. Unlike the DFA and DFP products which are both SaaS (Software as a Service) products, DART Enterprise is a standalone product running on Linux.

In 2004, DoubleClick acquired Performics.[24] Performics offers affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, and search engine marketing solutions. The marketing solutions were integrated into the core DART system and rebranded DART search. DoubleClick Advertising Exchange (released Q2 2007) attempts to go even further by connecting both media buyers and sellers on an advertising exchange much like a traditional stock exchange. In June 2010, Google confirmed its acquisition of Invite Media, a demand-side platform which it later renamed Doubleclick Bid Manager.[25]

Data collection[edit]

DoubleClick targets along various criteria. Targeting can be accomplished using IP addresses, business rules set by the client or by reference to information about users stored using cookies on their machines. Some of the types of information collected are:

In addition, the cookie information may be used to target ads based on the number of times the user has been exposed to any given message. This is known as "frequency capping".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cox, Beth. "DoubleClick Reportedly to Relocate in New York City". ClickZ. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  2. ^ "DOUBLECLICK INC (DCLK) IPO". Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  3. ^ Spangler, Todd (2018-06-27). "Google Killing Off DoubleClick, AdWords Names in Rebranding of Ad Products". Variety. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  4. ^ a b Colao, J.J. (December 16, 2017). "Gilt, MongoDB, DoubleClick: Meet The Duo Behind New York's Biggest Tech Companies". Forbes.
  5. ^ a b "Modem Media Poppe Tyson". Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  6. ^ Sidor, David (2004). The Click: A Memoir and Lessons Learned During the Great Internet Boom. iUniverse. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-595-32784-3.
  7. ^ Weller, Bart; Calcott, Lori (2012-07-13). The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords: Create Versatile and Powerful Marketing and Advertising Campaigns. Apress. ISBN 9781430240150.
  8. ^ Staff. "DoubleClick enjoys banner IPO | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  9. ^ Petersen, Andrea (14 June 1999). "DoubleClick, Abacus Direct Are Set To Merge in $1 Billion Stock Deal".
  10. ^ "FTC concludes DoubleClick investigation". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  11. ^ Penenberg, Adam L. (7 November 2005). "Cookie Monsters" – via Slate.
  12. ^ "U.S. Investigating DoubleClick Over Privacy Concerns". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  13. ^ News, A. B. C. (2006-01-07). "FTC Closes DoubleClick Investigation". ABC News. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  14. ^ See In re DoubleClick Inc. Privacy Litigation, 154 F. Supp. 2d 497, 505–06 (S.D.N.Y. 2001)
  15. ^ a b "DOUBLECLICK ACQUIRED FOR $1.1 BILLION". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  16. ^ "Google to Acquire DoubleClick – News announcements – News from Google – Google". Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  17. ^ Helft, Louise Story and Miguel. "Google Buys DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  18. ^ Teinowitz, Ira (2007-09-27). "Microsoft: DoubleClick Deal Will Bring New Meaning to 'Being Googled' | Digital - Advertising Age". Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  19. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "US lawmakers plan Google-Doubleclick deal hearings". U.S. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  20. ^ Bartz, Diane (2007-12-20). "Google wins antitrust OK to buy DoubleClick". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  21. ^ Lawsky, David. "Google closes DoubleClick merger after EU approval". U.S. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  22. ^ Mills, Elinor (2008-04-02). "Google to lay off 300 at DoubleClick | News Blogs - CNET News". Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  23. ^ "DoubleClick caught supplying malware-tainted ads • The Register". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  24. ^ "DoubleClick Buys Performics". iMedia Connection. 2004-05-18. Archived from the original on 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  25. ^ Schonfeld, Erick. "Google Confirms Invite Media Acquisition, Brings Bidding To Display Ads". Techcrunch. Techcrunch. Retrieved 12 September 2015.

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