Citing Apple’s iAd initiative, FTC okays Google’s acquisition of AdMob

Fri, May 21, 2010

Legal, News

Well, all’s well that ends well. Despite a string of reports stating that the FTC was planning to block Google’s $750 million acquisition of AdMob, it turns out that the deal will, in fact, go through as originally mapped out. The FTC announced today that it closed up its investigation into the matter, concluding in a unanimous 5-0 vote that the deal will not hamper competition and run afoul of anti-trust law.

Notably, Apple’s recent foray into mobile advertising with its upcoming iAd initiative helped sway the mind of the commission and alleviate concerns that Google was amassing too much power and control.

.. the Commission said that although the combination of the two leading mobile advertising networks raised serious antitrust issues, the agency’s concerns ultimately were overshadowed by recent developments in the market, most notably a move by Apple Computer Inc. – the maker of the iPhone – to launch its own, competing mobile ad network. In addition, a number of firms appear to be developing or acquiring smartphone platforms to better compete against Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, and these firms would have a strong incentive to facilitate competition among mobile advertising networks.

“As a result of Apple’s entry (into the market), AdMob’s success to date on the iPhone platform is unlikely to be an accurate predictor of AdMob’s competitive significance going forward, whether AdMob is owned by Google or not,” the Commission’s statement explains.

Interestingly, Apple actually had its eyes on AdMob before Google big-timed them and snatched them up in a flash, forcing Apple to regroup, and ultimately leading to the acquisition of the mobile ad firm Quattro.

Related: iAds to offer advertisers unique access to iTunes analytics


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