Google's AdMob Purchase Draws Regulatory Scrutiny

The FTC is taking a closer look at the mobile advertising deal, IDG News Service reports

By Owen Fletcher

Beijing - Google's (GOOG) purchase of mobile advertising provider AdMob for $750 million has drawn closer regulatory scrutiny as U.S. antitrust officials have asked Google for more information on the deal, Google said in a blog post Wednesday.

Google has been talking to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about the deal and the agency gave Google a "second request" for information this week, Paul Feng, a Google product manager, said in the post. Google announced the acquisition plans last month, saying AdMob's focus on in-application and mobile display ads would dovetail with Google's strength in mobile search ads.

Google, like search rivals Yahoo and Microsoft, has worked to gain footholds in the mobile market as a large potential source of future revenue.

But the FTC review shows that Google's dominant search market position has brought it more attention from regulators. "We know that closer scrutiny has been one consequence of Google's success," Feng said in the blog post.

Google does not see any regulatory issues with the AdMob deal "because the rapidly growing mobile advertising space is highly competitive with more than a dozen mobile ad networks," he said. Still, the review means that the AdMob deal will not close right away, he said.

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