Google to lay off 300 US DoubleClick employees, sell Performics

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Lawrence You takes over for Alma Whitten.
Lawrence You takes over for Alma Whitten.

Changes are in store for newly merged Google and DoubleClick, following the March 11 approval of the merger.

Google has announced that it will lay off 25% of DoubleClick's 1,200 US-based employees. In addition, the online giant has announced that it will split DoubleClick Performics into two separately run business units, one covering affiliate marketing, and the other search marketing. Google plans to integrate the affiliate marketing into its existing business and sell off the search marketing group.

“It's clear to us that we do not want to be in the search engine marketing business,” said Tom Phillips, director of DoubleClick Integration in a blog post. “Maintaining objectivity in both search and advertising is paramount to Google's mission and core to the trust we ask from our users. For this reason, we plan to sell the Performics search marketing business to a third party.”

This comes as a response to concerns that owning both a search engine and a search marketing firm would create a conflict of interest for search results. “We believe this will allow us to maintain objectivity and the search marketing business to continue to grow and innovate and serve its customers,” Phillips added in the blog.

In recent weeks, Google executives have been spending time with privacy group Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) in Washington to help develop an online privacy bill.

“We are happy to work with Google on a consumer privacy bill,” said Ari Schwartz, VP at CDT. “Our main concern about their acquisition of DoubleClick is the potential integration of search marketing with their search engine information, because it could be tracking too much of a consumer's behavior without his or her knowledge.”

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