updated 06:35 pm EDT, Tue May 11, 2010
FTC gives Google time in light of iAd
The FTC has delayed its once-imminent review of Google's AdMob deal to gauge Apple's impact on the deal, sources said on Tuesday. Officials have supposedly given Google two extra weeks so that the government can determine whether Apple's buyout of Quattro Wireless and the resulting iAd platform make the mobile ad market more competitive. It has already been inclined to reject the deal but has said it would have been "much easier without Apple," according to one NYT contact.
A decision could still be ready by Friday, but part of the timing may depend on Apple itself, which has in the past been reluctant to provide information that reveals its business strategies even when it was a matter of legal requirements.
AdMob is currently one of the largest mobile advertisers in the world, and both the FTC as well as some competitors have worried that a completed acquisition by Google would give the latter a dominance over advertising in both areas. Fears likewise exist that Google might use its influence to favor those who advertise for Android over rival phone platforms.
iAd will compete with AdMob, but only on iPhone OS-based devices and possibly just with the companies willing to spend as much as $10 million for placements in apps. As such, the Google deal could still give the search firm much more control over every other platform AdMob supports, such as BlackBerry and Symbian.