updated 02:15 pm EST, Thu March 11, 2010
AdMob rivals asked if buyout anti-competitive
The Federal Trade Commission has signaled that it may at least temporarily block Google's buyout of AdMob, a set of leaks from within the process hinted late Thursday. As part of its investigation, the FTC is reportedly asking "at least two" companies to sign statements that would likely argue that the mobile ad deal abuses Google's web dominance. Such testimonies are usually gathered when FTC agents believe the Commission will block or change a deal, WSU professor Stephen Calkins told Bloomberg.
Neither the FTC nor Google has agreed to comment on the apparent move.
Opponents of the acquisition have noted that Google would gain even more influence over online advertising than it has today. AdMob is currently the largest advertiser on phones and feeds apps on Android, iPhone and most other major smartphone platforms. The proposed buyout has been enough to spur Apple into action, as the iPhone builder has been working on its own mobile ad system following the takeover of Quattro Wireless.