Google in £14m Doubleclick hit

INTERNET search giant Google absorbed £16m losses on its acquisition of three companies including DoubleClick, the online advertising network, City A.M. can reveal.

Google’s UK subsidiary took on £9.8m of liabilities, thought to be outstanding loans, as part of its $3.1bn (£1.9bn) purchase of DoubleClick Europe in 2008. The California-based technology monolith lost another £2.2m on takeovers of two smaller companies, Digital Advertising and Marketing and Falk eSolutions.

Moving DoubleClick’s staff into Google’s headquarters in Victoria cost a further £4.3m as the lease on the old DoubleClick building had to be terminated early.

The news comes as Google embarks on a huge promotional push for its Chrome internet browser. Chrome will battle with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox for desktop dominance in 2010.

The losses added up with other factors to push Google UK £23.6m into the red for the year ending December 2008, accounts filed with Companies House this week show. Although the figure was a significant increase on 2007’s post-tax loss of £4m, the search company’s turnover rose by almost 50 per cent to £149.7m as it carried out more research and development work for Google Ireland.

A spokesman said: “Despite a tougher financial climate owing to the global downturn, Google UK remains in strong shape. Google UK made a small loss in the financial year to 31 December 2008, principally owing to costs associated with the acquisition of DoubleClick.”

Google’s purchase of DoubleClick two years ago propelled it into the online display ads market”.