August 8, 2008

Publicis Acquires Google Search Marketing Arm

French advertising and communications company Publicis Groupe has agreed to acquire Google's search marketing business Performics.

Performics is a part of DoubleClick that Google acquired in March for $3.1 billion, and employs 200 people in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, London, Hamburg, Sydney, Singapore, and Beijing.

According to Publicis, the acquisition will strengthen its search capabilities and its new VivaKi Nerve Center ad technology platform. The company announced in June it was building VivaKi with the support of Google, Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft to simplify web and mobile ad purchasing.

In April Google announced that it would exit the search engine marketing business to maintain objectivity in both search and advertising after competitors expressed concern that Performics would get special access to Google's algorithms, putting them at a disadvantage.

Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive at Google, said: "Publicis Groupe has been a leader in the advertising industry for decades, and we believe Performics' growing business will benefit from being a part of it."

Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, were not disclosed.