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FTC Approves Google's AdMob Buy

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The Federal Trade Commission has approved Google’s acquisition of the mobile ad network AdMob, despite concerns over what the group termed “serious antitrust issues.”

Google agreed to buy AdMob last November for $750 million. But the deal was immediately held up by the FTC over concerns that Google might come to unfairly dominate the mobile ad space. What helped the commission come around were recent moves by Apple to push into the space, notably its acquisition of Quattro Wireless for $275 million.

“The agency’s concerns ultimately were overshadowed by recent developments in the market, most notably a move by Apple Computer Inc. -- the maker of the iPhone -- to launch its own, competing mobile ad network,” reads an FTC statement.

According to Google executives, the company received support from much of the digital ad industry as it waited for an FTC decision. Many had pointed to the fact that, in recent years, both AOL and Microsoft had been permitted to acquire mobile ad networks without being challenged.

“The decision is great news for the mobile advertising ecosystem as a whole,” wrote Susan Wojcicki, Google’s vp of product management in a blog post. “As an immediate matter, we’re now moving to close this acquisition in coming weeks. We’ll then start work right away on bringing AdMob’s and Google’s teams and products together.”

See also:
"Decoding the Mobile Ad Space"