The FTC is reportedly gearing up to challenge the Google-AdMob deal, due to anti-trust regulations The search giant acquired the popular mobile advertising network for $750 million last Fall. Reports emerged today from Reuters’ sources that the FTC’s lawyers will recommend that the Commission block the deal. We’re not surprised, considering that we heard that Google was taking the unprecedented step of reaching out to AdMob competitors to rally their support around their acquisition of the company, in response to rumors that the FTC could block the deal. Consumer groups have also lobbied to block the deal.
According to a Wall Street Journal report yesterday, the FTC started assembling a legal team to prepare to block the deal. And the FTC is soliciting statements from the same competitors that Google is lobbying, in an effort to get these companies to testify on the regulatory ramifications of the AdMob acquisition.
Of course, Google claims that AdMob is only one of the many ad networks are competing in the arena and the mobile advertising market is still so young that it’s still unclear who the leader is in the space right now. And of course, Google is quick to point to Apple’s recent acquisition of mobile ad network Quattro Wireless.
It appeared that Google had high ambitions for AdMob, which was one of Google’s largest acquisitions since it bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in 2008. The rise of mobile advertising attracted Google to this space and with the acquisition of AdMob, the search giant could gain a valuable revenue channel. AdMob, which some say is approaching a $100 million business within the next three years, could be an extremely profitable source, especially when the platform is plugged into AdWords and DoubleClick.