FTC approves Google-AdMob deal, cites competition from Apple's iAd

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission voted 5-0 on Friday to approve Google's $750 million acquisition of mobile advertising firm AdMob, citing Apple's iAd as increasing competition in the marketplace.



The commission issued a statement Friday saying that Apple's move to launch its own advertising network "overshadowed" concerns of antitrust issues in Google's acquisition of AdMob.



"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 in a statement.



It went on to say that mergers in "fast-growing new markets like mobile advertising" should not be subjected to the same level of scrutiny as businesses in other markets might have to endure.



"Though we have determined not to take action today, the Commission will continue to monitor the mobile marketplace to ensure a competitive environment and to protect the interests of consumers," the commission said.



The FTC determined that "Apple is poised to become a strong competitor in the mobile advertising market," through its purchase of Quattro Wireless and forthcoming iAd rollout on the iPhone OS platform. Apple can also leverage close relationships with application developers and users, the commission said, in addition to a large amount of proprietary user data.



"We are extremely pleased with today?s decision from the Federal Trade Commission to clear Google's acquisition of AdMob," Omar Hamoui, AdMob founder and CEO said in a statement. "Over the past six months we've received a great deal of support from across the mobile industry -- and we deeply appreciate it. Our focus is now on working with the team at Google to quickly close the deal."



Previous reports suggested the FTC was leaning toward opposing the deal on the grounds that the combination of Google and AdMob would create too powerful a company in the mobile ad space. The FTC took an extra two weeks to review the AdMob deal as it sought more information on Apple's purchase of competing mobile ad agency Quattro Wireless.



Apple has big plans for its own mobile advertising venture, dubbed iAd, set to debut this summer. Google highlighted Apple's entrance into the advertising market as evidence of competition in the marketplace, in hopes that it would help to convince the FTC to approve its acquisition of AdMob.



After a deal was struck in late 2009, consumer groups asked the FTC to block Google's planned purchase of AdMob, citing both antitrust and privacy issues. The group alleged that the combination of Google and AdMob "would be harmful to consumers, advertisers and application developers."



Before Google bought AdMob, Apple tried first, Steve Jobs admitted in April when iAd was introduced. But AdMob was "snatched" by Google before Apple could close the deal, he said.



One report alleged that AdMob had agreed to a 45-day "no-shop" provision with Apple, to prevent the sale to another company. But as soon as that provision expired, Google pounced and paid $750 million -- a premium price that the search giant was reportedly willing to pay to keep the company away from Apple. Apple then settled for Quattro Wireless for $275 million.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    s4mb4s4mb4 Posts: 267member
    Google FTW!
  • Reply 2 of 57
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Google is starting to scare me with all the stuff they're doing. TV, phones, search, desktop OS, music store, advertising, blogging, video (YouTube), VoIP, social networking, photo sharing and editing (Picasa), office suite, GPS, web browser, iTunes syncing--it's all a bit big. All their acquisitions are worrisome to me as well, as they are buying all the great small companies and hiding and holding them for their use only (I understand Apple does this too, but Google has quite a few more buy-outs). Google is growing so large so fast, I can only guess at where they'll be in 2 years.
  • Reply 3 of 57
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    "Fast growing mobile advertising business should not be scrutinized"?



    Yea the same way that fast growing hedging market should not be scrutinized. The same way as the off shore drilling should not be scrutinized.



    Whatever I knew that this deal would go through (after all Google has a lot of money to drop on lobbying), but as I said before, citing an unreleased competitor (iAd) as the reason for the decision is a bit silly, since no one really know how well received and how good iAd will be.



    Google is really sticking it to Apple, and this is a great time for Apple to buckle down, and drive innovation even harder to win against Google. iOS and iPad are great starts, but iAd better be really good as well.
  • Reply 4 of 57
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,193member
    No surprise here. FTC does not have the 'nads to stand up to Google. Besides, Apple provided a pretty good argument for them (iAd) - although I did not know that an announcement was considered competition (vaporware competition).
  • Reply 5 of 57
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,193member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    ...Google has quite a few more buy-outs...



    I am not sure that is accurate. Apple has purchased a lot of IP by acquiring companies of various sizes. It has been much more publicized to date with Apple and Google going for the same thing more than once.



    If anyone has any info for say the last 2 or three years I know I would be interested. If we go back far enough and start including things like iTunes and all the Pro apps then I think Apple wins.
  • Reply 6 of 57
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post


    I am not sure that is accurate. Apple has purchased a lot of IP by acquiring companies of various sizes. It has been much more publicized to date with Apple and Google going for the same thing more than once.



    If anyone has any info for say the last 2 or three years I know I would be interested. If we go back far enough and start including things like iTunes and all the Pro apps then I think Apple wins.



    Google has way more.



    Apple total count: 28

    Apple in the past 3 years: 6

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...tions_by_Apple



    Google total count: 68

    Google in the past 3 years: 33

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ions_by_Google



    Google has done more in the past 3 years than Apple in totality.
  • Reply 7 of 57
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,653member
    Well, one thing would seem to be certain. The FTC can't very well throw any roadblocks in Apple's way in deploying iAd after approving this for the reasons given.
  • Reply 8 of 57
    Quote:

    Google pounced and paid $750 -- a premium price



  • Reply 9 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    Google is growing so large so fast, I can only guess at where they'll be in 2 years.



    I eagerly await the day when I can buy the Googleos brand breakfast cereal. I, for one, welcome our Google overlords.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post


    No surprise here. FTC does not have the 'nads to stand up to Google. Besides, Apple provided a pretty good argument for them (iAd) - although I did not know that an announcement was considered competition (vaporware competition).



    That is one of the most amazing thing about today's marketplace. Vaporware is just as good as the real thing.



    Google was able to use vaporware to convince the FTC that there is competition in the market today.



    Adobe has convinced 90% of the press that Apple is being evil by banning a product that doesn't even exist.



    When the iPad came out, people were talking about how much better the HP slate or Courier were.



    What ever happened to people talking about REAL products?
  • Reply 11 of 57
    dhkostadhkosta Posts: 150member
    Anyone else wonder if Google's advertising is getting too big to handle?



    "The flavor of almonds makes your Apple Pie even better."
  • Reply 12 of 57
    It would seem that FTC has preemptevly advised Google that Apple is good to go with leveraging customer info not shared with anyone else google has publicly implied that that was unfair and discriminentory. Too bad.
  • Reply 13 of 57
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    Sounds like a reasonable decision to me. And, by a similar logic, the FTC should also ignore Adobe's complaint against Apple. The mobile market is clearly very competitive in all aspects. There is currently no need for anti-trust action against anyone.
  • Reply 14 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    Google is starting to scare me with all the stuff they're doing. TV, phones, search, desktop OS, music store, advertising, blogging, video (YouTube), VoIP, social networking, photo sharing and editing (Picasa), office suite, GPS, web browser, iTunes syncing--it's all a bit big. All their acquisitions are worrisome to me as well, as they are buying all the great small companies and hiding and holding them for their use only (I understand Apple does this too, but Google has quite a few more buy-outs). Google is growing so large so fast, I can only guess at where they'll be in 2 years.



    yes, it's scary because nobody knows what will kill them



    and scientists keep looking for the cure for cancer, which is exactly how the world works
  • Reply 15 of 57
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I feel sorry for all those technology people working at Google, their company is turning in to an advertising giant. Hey guys, if you want to get back in to tech there's always Apple
  • Reply 16 of 57
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    Google has way more.



    Apple total count: 28

    Apple in the past 3 years: 6

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...tions_by_Apple



    Google total count: 68

    Google in the past 3 years: 33

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ions_by_Google



    Google has done more in the past 3 years than Apple in totality.



    I'd wager Google is putting a thorn in Apple's side. Google is so quick to overpay for a company that Apple can't come in and lowball them anymore. That would piss me off.
  • Reply 17 of 57
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    Sounds like a reasonable decision to me. And, by a similar logic, the FTC should also ignore Adobe's complaint against Apple. The mobile market is clearly very competitive in all aspects. There is currently no need for anti-trust action against anyone.



    The difference is that there was never any validity to Adobe's claims against Apple.



    There ARE, however, legitimate concerns about Adobe's monopoly position in web advertising.
  • Reply 18 of 57
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,193member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    There ARE, however, legitimate concerns about Adobe's monopoly position in web advertising.



    Didn't realize that Adobe was in the advertising biz.
  • Reply 19 of 57
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    There ARE, however, legitimate concerns about [Google]'s monopoly position in web advertising.



    Looking at iAd and Apple's position in the market I agree with the FTC that Apple has a chance of being a major player here. While I'm sure they will be keeping an eye on Google I can't see any anti-trust maneuvering at this point. Perhaps something less than their silly "do no evil" motto but certainly well within legal business practices.
  • Reply 20 of 57
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Looking at iAd and Apple's position in the market I agree with the FTC that Apple has a chance of being a major player here. While I'm sure they will be keeping an eye on Google I can't see any anti-trust maneuvering at this point. Perhaps something less than their silly "do no evil" motto but certainly well within legal business practices.



    Yup -- the market is evolving very quickly and I think Apple is a very credible competitor. Plus Microsoft is waiting in the wings, and even though they are incredibly late to the party, I'm sure they will have an ad component to their mobile strategy, and I think their mobile strategy isn't the completely lost cause that it might appear (just because IT loves MS the way Homer loves donuts).
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