Reports: FTC poised to block AdMob deal

Wed, 04/07/2010 - 8:05am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

The Federal Trade Commission is readying itself for a possible fight over Google’s proposed acquisition of mobile advertising firm AdMob, according to reports from Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

According to anonymous sources cited by Reuters, FTC lawyers will recommend that the government block Google’s $750 million purchase of AdMob on the grounds that the deal is anticompetitive.

The Reuters report came shortly after The Wall Street Journal reported that the FTC was “laying the groundwork” to challenge the Google/AdMob deal. Anonymous sources familiar with the matter told the Journal that the FTC had assembled a team of lawyers tasked with blocking the deal.

Neither the FTC nor Google replied to requests for comment by press time.

The FTC has remained mum about its inquiries into the matter, and the agency is still reportedly in talks with Google about the deal. In a December statement, Google said it was cooperating with the FTC’s inquiries and was “confident” that the FTC would find that its purchase of AdMob would not adversely affect competition in the mobile advertising space.

The news comes one week after 11 lawmakers asked the FTC to look into privacy concerns over Google Buzz and the possible anticompetitive effects of its AdMob purchase.

Specifically, the members of Congress asked the FTC to "scrutinize how the deal will affect competition and Google's incentives to offer robust consumer privacy protections."

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