Google’s recent acquisition of mobile ad network AdMob for $750 million is a really big deal for the Moutain View, CA-based search engine. Aside from the cost of the buy-out, the deal will give Google unprecedented influence in the mobile space. So much influence, in fact, that the Federal Trade Commission has asked Google for yet more information regarding the AdMob acquisition. The deal also has two consumer groups crying foul and claiming that Google’s AdMob purchase violates anti-trust laws.
Google has confirmed that they have received a second request for information from the FTC. The latest request apparently “may entail tortuous excavation of databases” that will take a lot of time and effort to satisfy. Google says that complying with the FTC’s wishes will delay the finalization of the AdMob deal until late 2010. Still, Google remains “confident that the FTC will conclude that the rapidly growing mobile advertising space will remain highly competitive after this deal closes.”
To make matters worse, consumer advocate groups Consumer Watchdog and the Center For Digital Democracy have petitioned the FTC to stop Google from bringing AdMob into its star-studded cadre of tech companies. The two groups argue, in their letter to the FTC, that the Google-AdMob deal will hurt competition in the mobile advertising market. AdMob would give Google control over 24% of the mobile ad space, with its closest competitors wielding no more than 18% market share. The deal would end up giving Google a concerning amount of mobile ad market share.
To make matters all the more concerning, the mobile ad space is still growing. As consumers increasing adopt smartphones, mobile applications, and mobile web surfing, the mobile advertising market will become increasingly more lucrative. If Google manages to nab one of the industry’s biggest ad networks, they’d be in good position to take over the mobile ads much like they did with online ads after their acquisition of DoubleClick in 2007 for $3.1 billion.
Check out the two consumer groups’ joint letter to the FTC below: