Friday, May 21, 2010

FTC gives nod to Google's acquisition of AdMob

What a week of Google, huh? The search giant rolls out a new version of its Android platform, as well as introduces its Google TV platform with powerful partners like Sony and Best Buy at its developer conference. And now the FTC announces that it won't be standing in the way of Googles ability to close its acquisition of AdMob.

And who should credit for Google getting approval? Apple.
The commission voted 5-0 to close its investigation into possible anti-trust issues, saying in a release 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."

Apple had been in negotiations to acquire AdMob itself when the firm abruptly announced it was being purchased by Google. The circumstances around the change have always been murky with some stating that Google 'snatched" AdMob from Apple, while other claiming that Apple let the deal slip through their hands. Eventually, Apple purchased Quattro Wireless in January. But it was most likely Apple announcement that it was introducing its iAd platform that sealed the deal for Google.

“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 said in a statement. The commission added that “Though we have determined not to take action today, the Commission will continue to monitor the mobile marketplace to ensure a competitive environment and to protect the interests of consumers.”

So now Google gets ownership of the largest and most successful mobile ad network company. It has indeed been a good week for Google.