Google Closes DoubleClick Deal, Hints of Layoffs

Last Updated Mar 12, 2008 3:51 PM EDT

Nearly a year after the deal was announced, Google said Wednesday it's finally closing its $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick. The official announcement came shortly after foot-dragging European regulators finally approved the acquisition.

Google has surely been working on integrating DoubleClick's technology, which is focused on the ad-banner segment of the market, until now a weak spot for the search giant. But there's one part of the integration that has been stalled while regulators chewed over the prospect that Google was building an online-ad monopoly: when and how to cut redundant staff.

That was addressed in a post from CEO Eric Schmidt posted on Google's company blog. And therein lay the words that send a chill through many Google newbies: "As with most mergers, there may be reductions in headcount."

That's the thing with the use of the word "may." Normally, it includes the possibility that something could possibly not happen. But whenever a CEO says there may be layoffs, it's all but certain that there will be layoffs. Google has been famously picky about who it hires, so it's a good bet that the positions cut will come from DoubleClick's ranks.

  • Kevin Kelleher

    Kevin Kelleher writes a regular stock column at and is a contributor to Wired, Popular Science, and GigaOm. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor at Bloomberg News, Wired News, and The Industry Standard.