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Monday, July 03, 2006

Growing Google May Get Feds Attention

Google's Checkout online payment system could prompt millions of users to start using a Google ID as their standard identity across the web and tap into a vast reserve of marketing data. If it's enough of a success, it may eventually put the company into Microsoftian anti-trust territory.

If Google can combine data about user's online travels with their financial data, the company would have a targeted marketing bonanza. Want to know where the people who come to your site go during the rest of their day? Just ask Google where to advertise to bring 'em back.

Google is offering a discount on payment services to AdWords advertisers. You could make the argument that payment systems and advertising networks have historically been separate businesses (like operating systems and office software), so this "bundling" could be challenged as unfair to other ad networks or PayPal. Sure you can bundle your phone and internet service and cable service, but these industries were studied and fall loosely into the "data communications" umbrella.

This is conjecture looking a few years down the road, but if Google becomes equally as important in online payments as it is in search marketing, then they would have to act very carefully to avoid regulatory scrutiny.

By Jason Dowdell at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

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