Lots of press about Google's acquisition of Doubleclick. I agree with Steve Rubel's assessment that this means that Google owns the end-to-end marketing relationship, from branding through to search. But also remember Google Checkout, which allows Google to close the loop on not only search but also display ads all the way through to transactions. There are privacy concerns, but if advertisers and publishers agree to this -- and they will because they will each benefit from the synergies created -- it won't be a problem.
(Updated: see below for some thoughts on user privacy)
In my mind, this is the reason why Google was willing to pay the price they did -- I frankly think they would have paid even more in order to make sure they could buy their way into this market. Otherwise, it would have taken YEARS for them to develop a presence in display/brand advertising.
Having locked up the online space, it also means that they can now focus on other areas of advertising -- like their nacent video, radio, and print ad networks.
Updated: Please also see the blog post by my colleague, Shar VanBoskirk on the deal.
And as Shar puts so well in our blog post, users in the end are in control. If Google and its partners act inappropriately with our data, we'll take our business elsewhere. Google may be powerful, but there are still many other players and alternatives on the Internet.