Google Ventures Further into Display Advertising
Google plans to introduce its revamped DoubleClick Ad Exchange today, which should act as a market place for exchanging advertising space. Venturing into display advertising has been part of Google’s expansion plan for some time now. Last year Google bought DoubleClick, a digital advertising agency, with the clear intention to up its game against such contenders as Yahoo. It comes as no surprise after the slowing down of text ad sales that Eric E. Schmidt and others are focusing their efforts on display. To read more about the DoubleClick Ad Exchange platform, check out the New York Times’ article Google Aims to Wrest Display Ads From Yahoo.
U.S. Government to File Against Google Books
The U.S. Government plans to join the hundreds of others who have filed complaints against Google Books on Friday. The Justice Department is expected to address its concerns regarding the possible impact Google Books could have on its competitors and the book publishing market. To read more about Google Books and the government’s filing, check out The Wall Street Journal’s article U.S. to File Concerns Over Google Book Pact.
Google to Publish
Just as we thought the drama surrounding Google Books couldn’t get any more vibrant, Google announced on Thursday their plans to team up with OnDemandBooks, which is the maker of the Espresso Book Machine. The petit printing press can print out books within a matter of minutes, clearly an enticing proposition for anyone browsing the numerous books in Google’s archive. In its beginning stages, Google and OnDemandBooks intend on having 13 espresso locations in the U.S. and 13 abroad. To read more about the deal, check out this week’s LATimes Blog: Shakespeare in Seconds.
Skype Founders Sue eBay
It has been only two weeks since eBay sold 65% of their stake in Skype to private investors, which is why this week’s announcement from Skype that they will sue eBay for copyright infringement comes as a slight surprise. The crux of the argument between eBay and Skype is a piece of peer-to-peer technology called “global index,” which is the framework of Skype’s software and what allows them to connect telephone calls over the internet rather than through phone lines. Making matters more complicated, “global index” was a licensed piece for software from a U.K. company called Joltid, which terminated their license with eBay in March. Joltid has also moved their original case against eBay from the U.K. to the states and added Skype into the suit. Such a tangled legal web could definitely jeopardize the sale of Skype. To read more about the case, check out the SF Gate’s article Skype Founders Sue eBay: What’s Going On?
Facebook Hits 300 Million
Facebook made two significant announcements this week: their cash flow is in the positive and their population just hit 300 million active users. To put it in context, the United States has a population of 307 million people and with Facebook’s aggressive expansion effort it won’t be long before they surpass that number. To read more about Facebook and TechCrunch50, check out CNet’s article Facebook at TechCrunch50.
Google to Newspapers, “Why can’t we be friends?”
Google recently announced the launch of their new app Fast Flip, which recreates the experience of reading a newspaper or magazine on the internet. The hope is that readers will be more likely to use the format to read articles online rather than in print, offering traditional print publishers an opportunity to cross over into the internet age. Google has teamed up with 36 publishers, but more are soon to come. Not surpisingly, Google plans to serve up contextual ads around the articles, sharing the “bulk” of the revenue with the publishers. To read more check out Google Unveils Fast Flip for Newspapers and Magazines, a blog post from the LATimes.
The investment bankers were kept busy this week, as a number of big names were either buying, selling, or considering additional investment. The acquisition spree was headlined by Adobe, which bought web analytics giant Omniture for $1.8 billion in after-hours trading on Tuesday. The matchmaking continued on Wednesday with Google’s acquisition of ReCaptcha, a company that provides word verification technology to help web operators reduce spam and fraud. That was followed by rumors of Google’s acquisition of online video platform Brightcove for $500 million to $700 million. Word quickly spread on Twitter, where Mark Glaser, Executive Editor of PBS MediaShift first reported it. Both companies gave a firm “no comment” and one analyst now suggests there’s no deal in the works and the reports are believed to be false. Speaking of Twitter and news to tweet, the company will reportedly raise $50 million in another round of funding, which would put the company’s valuation at $1 billion (that’s billion with a ‘b’). And as long as we’re making eye-popping valuations, Wall Street Journal blogger Michael Corkey makes a case for valuing Twitter at $2.7 billion.