Today, I had lunch with AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui just before he went onstage at the CM Summit in New York City. The FTC finally approved Google’s $750 miillion acquisition of his mobile ad startup on May 27. He told me about the long ordeal of going through that approval process, turning Apple into a competitor, and how AdMob will fit in with Google’s other advertising businesses. Hamoui will be running all of mobile advertising for Google. In the video above, which I shot outside the conference, he touches upon these topics.
I asked him about Apple’s new policies as written in their licensing agreement for the iPhone 4.0 OS and its restrictions on sending phone data to third party providers. Hamoui is taking a wait and see approach, but told me it could be potnetially devastating to AdMob’s iPhone business. John Battelle asked him the same question on stage, “Are you concerned Steve will take his toys and go home?”
Hamoui response: “They haven’t enforced that yet. If enforced as written, it would be complicated or near-impossible to serve relevant advertising on the iPhone platform.”
And what if IAds became the only functioning advertising network on the iPhone? Hamoui feels strongly that Apple should let AdMob and other ad networks compete: “It is not good for developers to have only one choice. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t think it even benefits them [Apple]. They should want developers to make more money. Having more advertising providers is better than having less.”
Another tidbit Hamoui told me: about 30 to 40 percent of iPhone AdMob ads are cross-promoting other apps, which explains why Apple is aggressively going after that market.