FTC approves Google merger with AdMob thanks to Apple competition
The Federal Trade Commission said Friday it has approved Google’s acquisition of AdMob, a mobile advertising platform, after a six-month review of the $750 million deal.
The search giant can thank Apple for the approval, as the agency cited the iPhone maker's entry into the mobile advertising market as evidence of competition in the industry.
In a statement, the FTC said it gave approval “after thoroughly reviewing the deal and concluding that it is unlikely to harm competition in the emerging market for mobile advertising networks.” The agency said that combining Google’s mobile advertising network with competitor AdMob had “raised serious antitrust issues.”
But Apple’s launch of its own competing mobile ad network led investigators to determine Google’s merger wouldn’t harm competition. Last December, Apple acquired Quattro Wireless, which competes with AdMob. The Google rival also introduced last month iAd, its own platofrm for mobile advertising on its popular iPhone and iPad.
“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," the commission’s statement explained.
“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 statement said.
May 21, 2010; 12:35 PM ET
Categories: Antitrust , Apple , Google
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