U.S. FTC extends review of Google-AdMob Deal

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“Google may have gotten some help from its rival Apple in its attempt to acquire the mobile advertising start-up AdMob,” Brad Stone reports for The New York Times. “The Federal Trade Commission got a two-week extension from Google and AdMob for its review of Google’s $750 million acquisition, according to two people briefed on the review process. The agency wants to use the additional time, in part, to better understand the competitive effects of Apple’s purchase of Quattro Wireless, an AdMob rival, and Apple’s impending introduction of its new iAds mobile advertising system, these people said.”

“According to several people briefed on the investigation, the F.T.C. has been leaning toward opposing the deal, reasoning that it would substantially diminish competition in the nascent market for advertising on mobile phones,” Stone reports. “But the F.T.C. also must evaluate whether a strong second player in the market — Apple — would significantly change the competitive landscape and make it easier, or more difficult, for smaller players to gain entry. Google executives have pointed to Apple’s entry into the mobile ad market as a sign that the business is competitive.”

Stone reports, “One factor that could be complicating the F.T.C.’s review, said a person briefed on the process, is Apple’s famous reluctance — even with federal regulators — to open up about its business plans. It is unclear what kind of effect that the iAds system, which Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, unveiled last month along with new software for the iPhone, could have on the overall mobile ad market. Apple’s iAds, unlike mobile ads from Google and AdMob, will appear only on the iPhone, and the system will cater exclusively to high-end advertisers, at least at first.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve written before, “The FTC shouldn’t be in the business of trying to predict monopolies and attempting to regulate them where they do not currently exist. Also, monopolies are legal unless abused (ask Microsoft about that), so without a monopoly situation, there can obviously be no monopoly abuse to correct, which is another reason why the FTC shouldn’t act.”

10 Comments

  1. But Google already has a monopoly in regular Internet ads — and there are reports of abuse — do we want them also ruling mobile? Seems that gives them way too much power. Better to allow someone else to rule mobile and provide Goog with a competitor to keep them in line.

  2. I disagree with MDN about monopolies being legal until abused. On paper that sounds nice but in reality monopolies are typically abused. This is due the inherent nature of having a monopoly on anything.

  3. “I disagree with MDN about monopolies being legal until abused”

    You have a problem with your own logic, and a problem with the law of the land.

    Agreed Monopolies are typically abused, but that’s not the point. Monopolies are illegal when you tie weak products to them and force them on people.

    The Movie Theatre has the monopoly on selling you popcorn (you do NOT bring food into a theatre), and as a result the prices are damn high. It’s not illegal, and everyone accepts it. Guess what? A convenience store in the middle of (buttocks)(penetrate) nowhere is gonna be expensive too…..NOT illegal. Tying is illegal.

    FYI. My examples were a little kooky, but the truth is, there aren’t THAT many monopolies out there, outside of, say geographical necessity. Having two companies working on one copper mine makes no freaking sense. Having two Hydroelectric companies in one county, also, insane.

    Well I feel like I just killed a moth with a bazooka. hrmm.. sorry guys

  4. @bon

    I Agree with that! Seems that so many times in my service to this nation, I have seen just that. Recommend one thing with other options and you will find, that which you fought the logical fight was not the choice made by the upper ranks.

    Sometimes it is clear why and might be the correct action. But the is the US Gov we are talking about. MOST times the wrong choice is made.

    But i digress. I will just sit here and wait for my iPad 3G and ponder a world without bad choices… Oh that would be Planet Jobs! RDF is in effect here? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. This is the same FTC that took over 18 months to approve the Sirius XM merger? While they allowed oil companies to merge without batting an eye? And in the end, they ended up destroying any investor wealth that was in either Sirius or XM … that’s the same worried about the public interest people we’re talking about, right?

    Logic, fairness and rationale are not inherent qualities of the FTC!

    Full disclosure – I lost a LOT of money on Sirius because of the FTC! And yes, I’m still bitter about it!

  6. Google HAS a monopoly in search advertising. To extend that monopoly deeper into the mobile space would further harm competition. Apple’s “PLANS” to have ads specific to iPhone OS devices (a small portion of the market overall) does not change today’s realities wrt Google, and as such should not be a factor. The FTC cannot PREDICT future market shares, it should evaluate today’s situation and respond accordingly.

    MDN word “right” – FTC should do just that.

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