US may seek to block Google-AdMob purchase: WSJ

April 7, 2010
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may seek to block Google's purchase of mobile telephone advertising company AdMob on anti-trust grounds, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may seek to block Google's purchase of mobile telephone advertising company AdMob on anti-trust grounds, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The newspaper, citing "people familiar with the matter," said the FTC "appears to be laying the groundwork" for an anti-trust challenge to the 750-million-dollar acquisition announced in November.

The report comes a day after Senator Herb Kohl, a Democrat from Wisconsin, urged FTC chairman Jonathan Leibowitz to give "close scrutiny" to the takeover, which he said "raises important competition issues."

"The stakes are very high in protecting a fully competitive market in this increasingly important sector of the high tech economy," said Kohl, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.

"Ensuring a vibrant and competitive mobile device marketplace should be a top priority for the FTC as it considers this deal," Kohl said.

Two consumer groups, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy, urged the FTC in December to block the takeover on anti-trust grounds and said the deal also raises privacy concerns.

The Wall Street Journal said the FTC has assembled an internal litigation team to prepare for a possible effort to block the acquisition and asked competitors for statements on the potential impact of the purchase.

The newspaper said the FTC "hasn't made a final decision to try to halt the AdMob deal," however, and has been meeting with lawyers to try to reach an agreement that assuages the commission.

A Google spokesman defended the proposed acquisition to the Journal, saying "there is overwhelming evidence that mobile advertising will remain competitive after this deal closes."

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

Last 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.

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

AdMob was founded in 2006 by Omar Hamoui as a California technology startup focused on building tools that let Web advertisers follow potential customers onto mobile devices.

AdMob has an established display advertising network for smartphones, particularly Apple iPhone devices that have been a global hit.

Explore further: Justice probing tech company recruiting

Related Stories

Justice probing tech company recruiting

June 3, 2009

The US Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether the recruiting practices of some of the largest US technology companies violated antitrust laws, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Google snaps up mobile ad startup for $750 million (Update)

November 9, 2009

(AP) -- Google Inc. is buying mobile advertising network AdMob for $750 million, underscoring the Internet search leader's determination to ensure its marketing machine reaches the growing number of people surfing the Web ...

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

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...


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.