FTC ends investigation into Google-AdMob deal

The Federal Trade Commission closed its investigation into Google‘s acquisition of AdMob May 21, finding the buy “is unlikely to harm competition in the emerging market for mobile advertising networks.”

The commission explained that although the $750 million acquisition “raised serious antitrust issues,” those concerns were overshadowed by Apple launching its own mobile ad network and other business moves. Apple recently acquired Quattro Wireless and launched the iAd platform.

The FTC also noted that numerous other firms are trying to compete with the iPhone and Android mobile platforms. It said it will continue to monitor the mobile marketplace to ensure a competitive environment.   

Susan Wojcicki, VP of product management at Google, noted in a blog post on the decision that “as mobile phone usage increases, growth in mobile advertising is only going to accelerate.”

“This benefits mobile developers and publishers who will get better advertising solutions, marketers who will find new ways to reach consumers, and users who will get better ads and more free content,” she said on Google’s blog.

AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui said on his company’s blog that his firm will work with Google to “develop new products and services for our advertisers, developers and publishers.”

Representatives from AdMob and the FTC could not be immediately reached for comment. A Google representative said the company had no comment other than Wojcicki’s blog post.

Google said last November that the AdMob acquisition would “enhance Google’s existing expertise and technology in mobile advertising, while also giving advertisers and publishers more choice.”

However, consumer groups such as the Center for Digital Democracy and Consumer Watchdog asked the FTC to block the acquisition, saying it raises privacy concerns. Martin Sorrell, CEO of advertising holding company WPP Group, also said earlier this month that the buy should be given a “rigorous” examination.

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