It’s been filled with more drama than an episode of The Real Housewives of New York, but Google has finally officially acquired AdMob to boost its mobile advertising business.
“It’s clear that mobile advertising is becoming a much larger part of our clients’ and partners’ strategies and with this acquisition, it’s now a central part of our own business,” the search giant wrote on its blog. “In continuing to invest in this highly competitive area, we’ll be bringing together our technology, resources and expertise in search advertising with AdMob’s innovative solutions for advertising on mobile websites and in mobile applications.”
The search giant scooped up AdMob away from Apple for about $750 million late last year and it was an interesting move because AdMob was dominant in mobile app ads on the iPhone. Google sees the mobile space as incredibly important in the future of computing – it said smartphones will make desktops “irrelevant” within as few as three years – and this deal could help it bring its lucrative online advertising juggernaut to these smaller screens.
The federal government was concerned this deal would give Google too much power in the nascent mobile advertising market and the Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into the deal. Things were looking pretty grim until Apple introduced its iAd platform with iPhone OS 4.0, which looks to be a strong counterbalance. The FTC agreed with this line of thinking and cleared the acquisition last Friday. The search giant wasted no time in completing the deal.
Even with the proliferation of apps, Google still said that mobile search will be central to its ambitions. It said its mobile search volumes have grown more than fivefold over the last two years and this continues to accelerate. Over the first quarter of 2010, the search company said those handsets with “full” WebKit browsers searched 62% more than they did the previous three quarters.
[Via Google blog]