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Google highlights Apple's iAd as FTC looks to block AdMob deal

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Lawyers with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission will reportedly recommend that the government block Google's proposed acquisition of mobile advertising firm AdMob, while the search giant has highlighted Apple's forthcoming iAd platform as evidence of growing competition in the market.

According to Reuters, staff with the FTC are prepared to recommend blocking Google's purchase of AdMob for anticompetitive reasons. An anonymous source told the news agency that the commission's staff believe there is a "significant competitive problem," and they will recommend that the FTC sue to stop the acquisition.

It was in late December that consumer groups asked the FTC to block Google's $750 million AdMob deal, citing both antitrust and privacy issues. Google agreed to acquire AdMob just weeks after the advertising firm met with representatives from Apple about a potential deal.

A recent report from The New York Times profiling the rivalry between Apple and Google said that the search engine willingly overpaid for AdMob just to keep the company away from Apple. Soon after the deal between Google and AdMob was struck, Apple responded by acquiring competing mobile ad firm Quattro Wireless.

Apple's move to purchase Quattro Wireless and establish its own advertising platform for integration into the App Store has been closely watched and even applauded by representatives from Google, who see the acquisition as evidence that there is competition in the mobile advertising space. Peter Kafka at MediaMemo noted this week that Google representatives sent e-mails to reporters to keep them apprised of rumors surrounding Apple's anticipated iAd platform.

Recent reports have said that Apple plans to introduce its new mobile advertising platform, a result of its purchase of Quattro Wireless, at a special event set for Thursday to preview the forthcoming iPhone OS 4.0. The new version of Apple's mobile operating system, which powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, is believed to add full multitasking support with third-party applications from the App Store. The preview event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Pacific, and will give a "sneak peek of the next generation of iPhone software" at the company's Cupertino, Calif., campus.
post #2 of 44
I wonder if this opens the door for Apple to buy them now. I realize Apple already bought an alternative but perhaps they'd still be interested if only to prevent someone else.
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #3 of 44
haha... that's what you get Eric, you lil' thieving punk. Admit all you best beta ideas or stolen ideas including where to take your company because you lack vision and only think in short term profits and not company longevity.

This is certainly the start of the unraveling of google...unfunded android, android fragmentation, now the potential slap in the face from the FTC....

google, how about you stick to your other beta adventures, like figure out a way to keep junk/spam outta my inbox....even yahoo is way better at handling that...your crap maps always get people lost on the way to my place creating roads where none exist...

how about you improve your customer services you get paid handsomely for..

edit:
GOOGLE IS DOOMED!
post #4 of 44
I would not be surprised if this was the plan from the start. Google suspects it is about to become the next Microsoft, so quick, I need some competitors. Who better than Apple in this space.
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by crift2012 View Post

haha... that's what you get Eric, you lil' thieving punk. Admit all you best beta ideas or stolen ideas including where to take your company because you lack vision and only think in short term profits and not company longevity.

This is certainly the start of the unraveling of google...unfunded android, android fragmentation, now the potential slap in the face from the FTC....

google, how about you stick to your other beta adventures, like figure out a way to keep junk/spam outta my inbox....even yahoo is way better at handling that...your crap maps always get people lost on the way to my place creating roads where none exist...

how about you improve your customer services you get paid handsomely for..

edit:
GOOGLE IS DOOMED!

Did Google touch you inappropriately when you were little or something?
post #6 of 44
Google and AdMob? Hellll no.

Google is becoming scary and I'm considering not using their products anymore.
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder if this opens the door for Apple to buy them now. I realize Apple already bought an alternative but perhaps they'd still be interested if only to prevent someone else.

Ain't gonna happen because Apple probably holds a grudge against them for choosing Google! But it would be a brilliant business move to acquire them only for their IP and market share. Steve can learn a thing or two from his pal Larry Ellison about M&A.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by replicant View Post

Ain't gonna happen because Apple probably holds a grudge against them for choosing Google! But it would be a brilliant business move to acquire them only for their IP and market share. Steve can learn a thing or two from his pal Larry Ellison about M&A.

What if Apple had wanted Google to try to buy the company over the odds? They could have foreseen issues? Or did Apple really mess up? It seems very strange for Apple to mess up this big - isn't it just something they left out for Google, in the knowledge they'd go for it?
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by solarein View Post

Did Google touch you inappropriately when you were little or something?

that's none of your business..

other than the website where its documented...

www.googletouchedmehinappropriately.com
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Google and AdMob? Hellll no.

Google is becoming scary and I'm considering not using their products anymore.

I already switched. I switched from Google search to Bing and I don't see any real difference in the quality of the results. There are other options, as well.

I never used any of the other Google apps since I have no desire to turn over my entire personal history to them.

I gave up on Google when they decided that they had the right to copy every published work in existence and make it available on the web without permission from the authors.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #11 of 44
This is potentially serious. The FTC rarely issues a ruling like this in an antitrust review of an acquisition (a review that is required and automatic under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 for any acquisition over $65 million, and treated as a proforma exercise 99.9% of the time).

The fact that the FTC is recommending against it is extremely unusual. Even if Google ultimately prevails, it could take months and months as this could drag on in the courts. This will definitely affect Google's synergy goals from the acquisition.

Google should perhaps have anticipated this.
post #12 of 44
I would feel much more comfortable if Google didn't have a monopoly over advertisement and ad-words. Let many companies compete. Google can do that in China if they want.
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post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I already switched. I switched from Google search to Bing and I don't see any real difference in the quality of the results. There are other options, as well.

Not that I'm a fan of Microsoft or anything, but the birds-eye-views on Bing Maps are pretty cool. Better than the Google Maps closeups.
post #14 of 44
>> I already switched. I switched from Google search to Bing and I don't see any real difference in the quality of the results.

I would recommend operating your computer with the monitor powered on.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Google and AdMob? Hellll no.

Google is becoming scary and I'm considering not using their products anymore.

and what, MS and bing aren't--it wasn't too long ago that they were the "great evil"
i guess the "great evil" is an evolving beast
ibm
MS
Google
who else?

i'd like to see some real competition with apple getting their own
search
maps
cloud office suite
use their ad company to pay for it like google and bing do so we all can have MORE choice

how hard would it be for apple to make its own search product

its that integration and ad driven revenue that makes it work
make it cross platform and drive this model
what i fear, is keeping my search, mail, adword data, and history to pry open my privacy
and leak it
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post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh.B. View Post

He's just channeling Steve Jobs: "We didn't enter the search market, but Google entered the phone market! Google is EVIL! Make no mistake, Google is trying to kill the iPhone!"

Forgive him. It is a standard Apple-approved attitude, and he's just going with the flow.

yea because Eric Schmidt being on the board at apple had nothing to do with them coming up with a mobile OS, or going after the same purchase Apple wanted in Admob...

and who are you? a google apologists only visiting apple boards because you are paid to? Seems some people will go to any length to defend unethical business practices and conflicts of interest..
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by crift2012 View Post

yea because Steve Schmidt being on the board at apple had nothing to do with them coming up with a mobile OS, or going after the same purchase Apple wanted in Admob...

Who's "Steve Schmidt?"

PS Disturbingly candid photos at your web site (www.googletouchedmehinappropriately.com)
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

Who's "Steve Schmidt?"

PS Disturbingly candid photos at your web site (www.googletouchedmehinappropriately.com)

oops meant eric
post #19 of 44
So not just ads, but ads in the background. Wonderful.
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This is potentially serious. The FTC rarely issues a ruling like this in an antitrust review of an acquisition (a review that is required and automatic under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 for any acquisition over $65 million, and treated as a proforma exercise 99.9% of the time).

The fact that the FTC is recommending against it is extremely unusual. Even if Google ultimately prevails, it could take months and months as this could drag on in the courts. This will definitely affect Google's synergy goals from the acquisition.

Google should perhaps have anticipated this.

I suspect they did. Keeping in mind, this was a defensive move on Google's part. They bought AdMob, probably at a substantial premium over what Apple might have paid, to prevent Apple from poaching on their territory. This kind of thing really gets the attention of regulators. If they now try to use Apple moving into the market as a defense, I think it's going to be very weak one, since this is after all what Google spent heavily to try to prevent. Google has some explaining to do.
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post #21 of 44
Google acquired doubleclick (2 of the biggest online advertising company), and no one other than Microsoft cared.
Now the FTC investigate google buying Admob?

Anyways whatever they say, Apple is pretty new to the advertising game. They can't exactly leverage the "iAd" as an excuse as being not a monopoly.
post #22 of 44
Not being an 'Apple Zombie' nor a 'Google Apologist' I really don't have any strong emotion one way or the other on this issue... However, I do have to smile just a bit at the current state of affairs...

- Apple offered AdMob a 'reasonable' buyout offer (perhaps a little on the low end but that's how Apple works)
- Google makes an 11th hour 'over the top' buyout offer to prevent Apple from getting AdMob.

Apple quietly buys another company in the market and continues on with their plans... Google who by all accounts didn't really really **want** AdMob in as much as they simply didn't want Apple to have them is going on business as usual and AdMob is simply left twisting in the preverbal wind. Google clearly has to go thru with the buyout but part of me says they wouldn't be all that upset if the sale never got finalized. After all, the offer they made was by all reports WAY more than the company was worth.

I wonder how AdMobs leadership and interested financial partners feel about this unfortunate turn of events... To bastardize a great movie line from a bygone era...

"For lack of a better word, greed is 'not' good."
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post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Apple quietly buys another company in the market and continues on with their plans... Google who by all accounts didn't really really **want** AdMob in as much as they simply didn't want Apple to have them is going on business as usual and AdMob is simply left twisting in the preverbal wind. Google clearly has to go thru with the buyout but part of me says they wouldn't be all that upset if the sale never got finalized. After all, the offer they made was by all reports WAY more than the company was worth.

A good point. Google may be protesting too much about being thrown into the proverbial briar patch. If the FTC blocks the sale, AdMob still doesn't end up in Apple's hands, which was the objective of the acquisition in the first place.
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post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I already switched. I switched from Google search to Bing and I don't see any real difference in the quality of the results. There are other options, as well.

I've been finding myself using different search engines for a while now as well, and like you, increasingly I can't find much difference in terms of the quality of the search results I get back. When Google first came along I switched from AltaVista because the results seemed so much better, but the others seem to have caught up.

The thing I still like about Google is how clean the search results look, but that seems to be getting watered down now, with things like twitter comments in the searches which makes things look cluttered.

I can't really see Google losing their search dominance however, since they are so ingrained in peoples routine (though I bet Excite thought that as well), but some of the other things they do I have never really understood. They seem to be in a lot of things that are interesting, but I don't understand how they are going to make money out of them, which when all is said and done, is kind of the point.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

A good point. Google may be protesting too much about being thrown into the proverbial briar patch. If the FTC blocks the sale, AdMob still doesn't end up in Apple's hands, which was the objective of the acquisition in the first place.

Exactly!

And all but unprovable... Now can we attribute such foresight to Google? That I'll leave up to others to debate...
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post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder if this opens the door for Apple to buy them now. I realize Apple already bought an alternative but perhaps they'd still be interested if only to prevent someone else.

Wait... Google is being investigated for anti-competitiveness (is that a word?) for buying AdMob. Now you think Apple should buy it just so no one else can? Am I the only one who sees what's wrong with this statement?
\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #27 of 44
The company didn't choose Google. Apple let it's option to buy period expire and Google offered more money afterwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by replicant View Post

Ain't gonna happen because Apple probably holds a grudge against them for choosing Google! But it would be a brilliant business move to acquire them only for their IP and market share. Steve can learn a thing or two from his pal Larry Ellison about M&A.
post #28 of 44
I'm surprised that people are actually taking sides on this issues (be it for Apple of Microsoft). As far as I'm concerned, both of them are evil.

Anyone that wants to bombard my 3.5" iPhone screen with more ads is no friend in my book
post #29 of 44
Google does not suck, just try a search like "How to contact Governor[your Gov's Name]" into google search, and you'll see that it's clearly the best. However, there are other search engines out there that are good, but are simply not being trained to get better because of the lack of users on the engine.

I use the Cuil (Like "Kewl") plugin for Safari, it aint too bad, but instead of the contact page for my governor, I just got a bunch of news about him. Had to go back to google (The plugin allows you to switch between engines).

Google is a very powerful monopoly "not that there's anything wrong with that"
When it's a natural one.

post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Exactly!

And all but unprovable... Now can we attribute such foresight to Google? That I'll leave up to others to debate...

I'd assume they calculated a win either way, which is probably true unless...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

Wait... Google is being investigated for anti-competitiveness (is that a word?) for buying AdMob. Now you think Apple should buy it just so no one else can? Am I the only one who sees what's wrong with this statement?

The big difference is that Google is already in the online advertising business in a kind of large way, and Apple is only just getting into it. Google trying to prevent Apple from entering into their market can certainly be seen as anticompetitive behavior. The last thing Google wants is a court finding that they have market power in online advertising. This just opens the floodgates wide to all sorts of lawsuits. So I'd expect them to give up on the AdMob buyout if the sledding gets at all rough with the regulators.
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post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

The big difference is that Google is already in the online advertising business in a kind of large way, and Apple is only just getting into it. Google trying to prevent Apple from entering into their market can certainly be seen as anticompetitive behavior. The last thing Google wants is a court finding that they have market power in online advertising. This just opens the floodgates wide to all sorts of lawsuits. So I'd expect them to give up on the AdMob buyout if the sledding gets at all rough with the regulators.

Good point. But you can make the argument that if Apple buys up a second company, just so no one else can get it, could also be treading on the anti-competitive line in a way. At the very least, it would be something to watch closely.
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post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

Good point. But you can make the argument that if Apple buys up a second company, just so no one else can get it, could also be treading on the anti-competitive line in a way. At the very least, it would be something to watch closely.

Maybe, but less likely. Google's big problem is their existing, dominant position in the online advertising market. Any move they make to forestall potential competitors from entering that market is going to look like monopoly maintenance. Apple, as a new entrant into the market, isn't going to have that problem. Still, I doubt they want AdMob at this point. They'd be happier with AdMob and Google in regulatory limbo for a couple of years.
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post #33 of 44
Quote:
...source told the news agency that the commission's staff believe there is...

Staff believes there is... (because it is the commission's staff makes no difference).
Yeah, I know, it's plural (no, it's not). A member of a group believes, and a group believes, too.

OK. Google's not unraveling, but they're too big for me. They've got enough in this space.

I don't buy anything Adobe says or makes, either. They've all but destroyed the competition in the design realm, simply because they have a big wallet. They have wallets... Whatever.

What about Apple, you ask? They're different. They can take over the world for all I care. They've done a pretty good job of changing it, already.
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder if this opens the door for Apple to buy them now. I realize Apple already bought an alternative but perhaps they'd still be interested if only to prevent someone else.

they would probably be hit with the same charges.

I suspect that the trouble is that Google has their existing Adsense program which is pretty widespread (I believe AI has Adsense ads on the site). Buying Admob would put them way over the top in 'market share' for mobile ads. Quattro + Admob could do the same. Remember that it's not just the existence of a competitor that Google (or Apple) needs. It's a more or less equal one. If either does something that makes the spread more like 80/20 rather than 60/40 that blocks the smaller guys from having an equal shot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

I would feel much more comfortable if Google didn't have a monopoly over advertisement and ad-words.

myself and a couple dozen folks I know would love it if Apple did a gig like Google has where you can make a little commission off hosting ads on your sites. in make it the new ad service via iweb etc. In part because Google's policies are a tad wacked. every one of us was cut with no information. Just kicked out. Even when we tried to ask them why they ignored us. And apparently this happens quite a lot.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Maybe, but less likely. Google's big problem is their existing, dominant position in the online advertising market. Any move they make to forestall potential competitors from entering that market is going to look like monopoly maintenance. Apple, as a new entrant into the market, isn't going to have that problem. Still, I doubt they want AdMob at this point. They'd be happier with AdMob and Google in regulatory limbo for a couple of years.

In the end, lawyers have to get fed too.
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post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by replicant View Post

Ain't gonna happen because Apple probably holds a grudge against them for choosing Google! But it would be a brilliant business move to acquire them only for their IP and market share. Steve can learn a thing or two from his pal Larry Ellison about M&A.

Not much evidence for that.

Apple reportedly had a window (some say it was 3 months) of exclusivity to buy AdMob. When that window expired and Apple had no deal, Google stepped in and bought them immediately (at a possibly inflated price).

The media all assume that Apple was punked by Google, but It could be the other way around - Apple decided AdMob wasn't worth the price, so they bought Quattro instead.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

Not much evidence for that.

Apple reportedly had a window (some say it was 3 months) of exclusivity to buy AdMob. When that window expired and Apple had no deal, Google stepped in and bought them immediately (at a possibly inflated price).

The media all assume that Apple was punked by Google, but It could be the other way around - Apple decided AdMob wasn't worth the price, so they bought Quattro instead.

Apple bought Quattro for 275 Million.
Google bought Admob for 750 Million.

I don't care how much better Admob is, it's not worth that kind of premium.
I'd say google got punked LOL.
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh.B. View Post

Adobe

great point made
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post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

great point made

Adobe is not evil, just really stupid.
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh.B. View Post

He's just channeling Steve Jobs: "We didn't enter the search market, but Google entered the phone market! Google is EVIL! Make no mistake, Google is trying to kill the iPhone!"

Forgive him. It is a standard Apple-approved attitude, and he's just going with the flow.

wait for it...wait for it...
hypocrites say what in 3, 2, 1....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh.B. View Post

Who am I? That is irrelevant and off-topic.

Please don't post personal stuff about forum users.

hmmm, someone should follow their own unsolicited advice... my remark was rhetorical, it really didnt dignify an answer from the "do as I say, not as I do" crowd....but thanks for trying
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