Consumer groups try to block Google purchase of AdMob

December 28, 2009
Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) asked the FTC to oppose Google's acquisition of AdMob
Two consumer groups urged the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday to block Internet search and advertising giant Google's proposed purchase of mobile advertising company AdMob.

Two consumer groups urged the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday to block Internet search and advertising giant Google's proposed purchase of mobile advertising company AdMob.

In a joint letter, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) asked the FTC to oppose Google's acquisition of on anti-trust grounds and said the deal also raises privacy concerns.

The move comes after said last week that the FTC was seeking more information about its proposed 750-million-dollar acquisition of AdMob.

"The proposed deal would substantially lessen competition in the increasingly important mobile advertising market," Consumer Watchdog and the CDD said in their letter to FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz.

"Instead of acquiring dominance in this increasingly important market through legitimate competition and innovation, Google is buying its way to a preeminent position," the non-profit groups said.

They urged the FTC to use its"statutory and regulatory authority to oppose the merger."

"In addition to the antitrust issues, the specter of a combined Google/AdMob raises substantial privacy concerns that must be addressed by the commission," the groups said.

"Permitting the expansion of mobile advertising through the combination of these two market leaders without requiring privacy guarantees poses a serious threat to consumers," they said.

"The mobile sector is the next frontier of the digital revolution," Consumer Watchdog and the CDD said. "Without vigorous competition and strong privacy guarantees this vital and growing segment of the online economy will be stifled."

Paul Feng, a group product manager at Google, said in a blog post last week that Google had received a "second request" for information from the FTC about the acquisition of AdMob.

"While this means we won't be closing right away, we're confident that the FTC will conclude that the rapidly growing space will remain highly competitive after this deal closes," Feng said.

"We'll be working closely and cooperatively with (the FTC) as they continue their review," he added.

Google, which previously has drawn scrutiny from US antitrust regulators, hopes AdMob will help it more effectively extend its lucrative Internet advertising domain into the booming world of mobile devices.

Earlier this year, Google was forced to revise its legal settlement with authors and publishers over its digital book-scanning project amid objections from the US Justice Department.

Last year, Google was forced to abandon a proposed advertising agreement with Yahoo! amid Justice Department anti-trust concerns.

Explore further: Privacy group urges probe of Google cloud services

Related Stories

Google book settlement facing antitrust scrutiny

April 29, 2009

Google's settlement with US authors and publishers over its book scanning project still needs the green light from a US judge but it may first have to pass muster with the US Justice Department.

Google CEO doesn't see problem with his Apple role

May 7, 2009

(AP) -- Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt is taking a government inquiry into his role on Apple Inc.'s board in stride, expressing confidence that the probe won't find any evidence that the ties between the two companies ...

Would a Google purchase of Yelp draw regulatory interest?

December 21, 2009

Google Inc.'s reported plans to acquire local-listings service Yelp may face difficulties, with regulators attuned to the Mountain View, Calif.-based company's established dominance of the Internet-search and advertising ...

FTC looking into Google's AdMob acquisition

December 23, 2009

Web search and advertising giant Google said Wednesday that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking more information about its proposed purchase of mobile advertising company AdMob.

Recommended for you

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.