“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.”