Google’s potential HubSpot deal likely to reignite antitrust scrutiny

Google’s potential HubSpot acquisition is expected to face resistance from both U.S. and European antitrust regulators.

Although Google hasn’t officially bid to acquire the online marketing software company, valued at $35 billion, experts are discussing whether such a move could curb competition.

While some argue it wouldn’t significantly limit competition, many believe that such a step by Google would still draw scrutiny and opposition from antitrust regulators.

Competition concerns. Following the announcement of the potential acquisition last week, antitrust experts weighed in on its potential impact on competition. The consensus among the majority is that the deal is unlikely to suppress competition. This is due to the presence of several major players, such as Microsoft, Salesforce, and Adobe, in the customer relationship management (CRM) software sector. Additionally, they noted that Google does not currently compete in this sector.

Antitrust watchdog reaction. Although the industry does not expect such a deal to curb competition, Seth Bloom, a former general counsel of the U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee who now runs his own advisory firm, expects it still would not sit too well with antitrust regulations. He told Reuters:

  • “My initial reaction is such a deal would face a pretty tough reception from the antitrust regulators.”

Next steps. If Google decides to move forward with its bid to acquire HubSpot, experts anticipate that the search engine giant will need to defend its position in a lengthy court battle, arguing that the acquisition would not stifle competition. Similarly, HubSpot would likely have to make a similar case.

HubSpot advantage. If a deal with Google materializes, it could potentially help HubSpot to emerge as a stronger competitor in the CRM space. As of 2022, HubSpot holds a mere 4.9% market share in the CRM space, according to technology researcher Gartner. In contrast, Salesforce and Adobe each command a 15% share. However, by leveraging Google’s cloud-computing resources, HubSpot could enhance its offerings and provide more competitive prices for customers.

What Google is saying. Google did not immediately respond to Search Engine Land’s request for comment.

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Deep dive. Read our coverage on Google’s potential bid to purchase HubSpot for more information.

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