Sponsored By

The Federal Trade Commission has decided to not to fight Google's purchase of AdMob because of Apple.

Thomas Claburn

May 21, 2010

2 Min Read

Google's plan to acquire mobile advertising company AdMob for $750 million, announced last November, received a nod of approval from the Federal Trade Commission on Friday, thanks in part to Apple.

Apple, thwarted in its ambition to buy AdMob when Google swooped in at the last minute, subsequently bought another mobile ad company, Quattro Wireless, in January. In a statement about its decision to conclude its inquiry into Google's proposed acquisition of AdMob, the Federal Trade Commission cited Apple's entry into the market as part of its rationale. "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 FTC said. The FTC's decision was driven not only by Apple's plan to launch its own mobile ad service, iAd, but by Apple's access to proprietary user data and by "its ownership of iPhone software development tools and control over the iPhone developers' license agreement." Apple's decision to revise the language of its iPhone OS 4.0 developer agreement to ban applications created in languages other than C, C++, Objective-C, or JavaScript, a move aimed at Adobe's Flash technology, has been widely criticized as being anti-competitive. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has defended the decision by claiming that dependency on third-party tools hinders developers' ability to deploy Apple technical innovations. The FTC said it would continue to monitor the mobile advertising market for possible antitrust issues. Google said it was pleased with the decision. "As mobile phone usage increases, growth in mobile advertising is only going to accelerate," said Google VP of product management Susan Wojcicki in a blog post. "This benefits mobile developers and publishers who will get better advertising solutions, marketers who will find new ways to reach consumers, and users who will get better ads and more free content." At the Google IO developer conference on Thursday, Google VP of engineering Vic Gundotra previewed several forthcoming mobile ad formats, including click-to-call ads for mobile content and ads that expand to fill mobile device screens.

Read more about:

20102010

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like


More Insights