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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Searcharazzi: DoubleClick on the Block…Performics too?

Searcharazzi - A Column From Search Engine Land

With the Google Phone rumors quashed this week, Searcharazzi was pleased to get a taste of this schematic of a semantic visual search engine purportedly by Nokia. More on that from SEL’s dedicated local and mobile gurus.

In the interim, we would be remiss to omit the big rumor of the week: DoubleClick is reportedly in talks to be acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. Now that’s some nice coin for private equity firm Heller & Friedman. It’s also some nice firepower for Microsoft in its uphill battle against Google.

While doubters suggest that the price tag is a bit stiff, Searcharazzi has another burning question: what would happen to Performics? As a friend of Searcharazzi said “agencies are supposed to be engine-neutral.” Sounds like a spin-off to us.

Unlike many SEMs with over-the-top valuation expectations, Performics is one of the few that could command top dollar on the market place. After all, an acquirer would be picking up the largest generator of SEM dollars, as well as the SEM’s reportedly hush-hush “special deal” with Yahoo! Once again, this would probably not bode will with Microsoft.

Assuming that Performics is indeed put on the block, just who might pick it up? Chances are, the valuation would be too high for any other SEM, outside of a capital raise or a merger. This leaves us with the big guns, most notably public agencies or a private equity play. Recent nominees include private equity firm General Atlantic, long rumored to be orchestrating a massive roll up, as well as aQuantive.

Let’s open this up for comment. Assuming Microsoft successfully acquires DoubleClick, what will happen to Performics? And if Performics would go on the block, just who might the best suitor be?

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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