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FTC Won't Block Google-AdMob Merger, Cites Apple's iAd as Competitive Factor

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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today announced that it has closed its investigation of the proposed acquisition of mobile advertising firm AdMob by Google. The FTC had been seen as likely to oppose the move over antitrust issues, but cited Apple's recent announcement of its own iAd mobile ad service as a significant factor in the decision to not take action against the Google-AdMob proposal.
In a statement issued today, the Commission said that although the combination of the two leading mobile advertising networks raised serious antitrust issues, the agency's concerns ultimately were overshadowed by recent developments in the market, most notably a move by Apple Computer Inc. - the maker of the iPhone - to launch its own, competing mobile ad network. In addition, a number of firms appear to be developing or acquiring smartphone platforms to better compete against Apple's iPhone and Google's Android, and these firms would have a strong incentive to facilitate competition among mobile advertising networks.

"As a result of Apple's entry (into the market), AdMob's success to date on the iPhone platform is unlikely to be an accurate predictor of AdMob's competitive significance going forward, whether AdMob is owned by Google or not," the Commission’s statement explains.
Apple had reportedly been considering its own acquisition of AdMob before Google swooped in to snap up the leading ad company. Apple in turn acquired Quattro Wireless to assist in developing its iAd platform. Google's poaching of AdMob from under Apple's nose has also reportedly led Apple to become more serious about its corporate acquisition strategies in recent months.

Full details of the FTC decision on the Google-AdMob situation can be found in a set of PDF documents on the commission's site:

- Statement of the Commission
- Closing Letter to Google
- Closing Letter to AdMob

Article Link: FTC Won't Block Google-AdMob Merger, Cites Apple's iAd as Competitive Factor
 

DTphonehome

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Apr 4, 2003
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Google ought to send Apple a fruit basket.
 
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Earendil

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I would agree with the FTC if the Iphone were the entire mobile market, or even a majority. But Google and AdMob are afaik aiming for all mobile platforms. While Apple's iAd will only be available on the iphone, correct?

How can Apple be seen as a serious competitor when it has intentionally limited its self to a small segment of the market?
 
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DCstewieG

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Jun 30, 2008
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Apple had to have understood this could happen. Was it immensely important to announce iAds when they did? It seems it would have been a shrewd business decision to announce after the FTC made its decision. If it mattered to them. Which is why this makes me think they don't care.
 
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Joshua Sortino

macrumors newbie
May 21, 2010
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Planned all along?

Could this have been planned all along? Remember the Jobs and Schmidt meeting at the cafe from a while back? I think this is what they were discussing. In the end, both companies win. If either tried to purchase AdMob, they would have been turned down. Now, because they're competitors, they can both offer their mobile ad services without the worry of a monopoly.
 
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theBB

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Jan 3, 2006
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I would agree with the FTC if the Iphone were the entire mobile market, or even a majority. But Google and AdMob are afaik aiming for all mobile platforms. While Apple's iAd will only be available on the iphone, correct?

How can Apple be seen as a serious competitor when it has intentionally limited its self to a small segment of the market?
iPhone probably brings in a much bigger portion of the ad revenue compared to its smartphone marketshare. Besides, it shows that it is fairly easy for mobile OS "makers" to directly compete with outside ad companies. RIM, Palm, Nokia and Palm can come up with similar systems themselves now that the recipe is out. If not, incompetence would be the only obstacle in their way and feds should not punish their competitors for that.
 
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padrongus

macrumors newbie
Aug 7, 2008
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Apple had to have understood this could happen. Was it immensely important to announce iAds when they did? It seems it would have been a shrewd business decision to announce after the FTC made its decision. If it mattered to them. Which is why this makes me think they don't care.

I agree - I think by now it is clear that Apple knows what they are doing.
 
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theBB

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Jan 3, 2006
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Apple had to have understood this could happen. Was it immensely important to announce iAds when they did? It seems it would have been a shrewd business decision to announce after the FTC made its decision. If it mattered to them. Which is why this makes me think they don't care.
As soon as iAds were announced, Google could appeal FTC's decision. It may have taken a few months longer to finalize, but it would delay iAds as well. In the end, it would not make that much sense to delay.
 
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Speedy2

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Nov 19, 2008
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That was obvious from the start. There was simply not the slightest reason why the FTC would block the deal. Even without iAd they would have MAYBE set some conditions, but that's all.
 
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Jaro65

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Google ought to send Apple a fruit basket.

Yep. The one with the cheese and a bottle of nice wine.
 
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PeterQVenkman

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Mar 4, 2005
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I would agree with the FTC if the Iphone were the entire mobile market, or even a majority. But Google and AdMob are afaik aiming for all mobile platforms. While Apple's iAd will only be available on the iphone, correct?

How can Apple be seen as a serious competitor when it has intentionally limited its self to a small segment of the market?

Apple doesn't get the best of both worlds - throwing their weight around when they see fit, then claiming to only be a small segment and needing protection from all the big bad competitors.

Regardless, though, I think we all lose in this one. More ads for everyone no matter where you are or what device you use! Yay!
 
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DDMaKeeg

macrumors member
Jan 4, 2002
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Apple Computer?

FTC, really keeping up with whats going on. Apple changed their name in 2007, to "Apple, Inc." They are not "Apple Computer" anymore. Get with the times, FTC
 
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carmenodie

macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2008
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Let me be clear. Google will fall. The internet ad business they have pimped has crest and any other players will do nothing more than siphon revenue from that scheme. Google is doing nothing but cluster bombing its image it what looks like growth but what is nothing but a slick way to get and or keep that stock price in the stratosphere.
Hell, Google pays Apple 100 million a year to carry Google search. LOL!
That is probably more than the sells of any single Android phone model by HTC. Ha ha! Google is hemorrhaging money. You don't by a company for million and then give away that acquisitions stuff. WTF!
Say night night to Eric Schimdt.
 
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theBB

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Jan 3, 2006
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Apple doesn't get the best of both worlds - throwing their weight around when they see fit, then claiming to only be a small segment and needing protection from all the big bad competitors.
I think you have it wrong: A company can easily throw its weight as it sees fit ONLY if it commands a small segment of the market. I don't think Apple asked for protection against Google anyways.
 
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motoroid

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2009
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Pathetic that in a supposedly "free market" a bureaucrat who understands nothing about the industry can block a merger.
 
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John Dillinger

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Feb 3, 2007
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Let me be clear. Google will fall. The internet ad business they have pimped has crest and any other players will do nothing more than siphon revenue from that scheme. Google is doing nothing but cluster bombing its image it what looks like growth but what is nothing but a slick way to get and or keep that stock price in the stratosphere.
Hell, Google pays Apple 100 million a year to carry Google search. LOL!
That is probably more than the sells of any single Android phone model by HTC. Ha ha! Google is hemorrhaging money. You don't by a company for million and then give away that acquisitions stuff. WTF!
Say night night to Eric Schimdt.

But of course as Google dont know what they're doing. About as insightful as those screaming MS is dead because of IE losing percentage points in the browser wars, whilst they (among many other successes) enjoy their fastest selling OS ever in Windows 7 :rolleyes:

Has it been disclosed how much ad revenues Google receives off having that Google search on Iphone? Without those numbers seems a bit silly to laugh at the outlay. If you have them I'd love to know.

And even if not a big profit... How much that increased mind share is worth it to the company??
Its not like this is some recent venture. They've been on iPhone since what 2006??

Isnt free Google Search what most agree got them so stinking rich??

Mozilla foundation have also been getting paid for years to have Google search as default in Firefox. MS would like to do the same with Bing. Think they see it as an investment.

These are multi-billion dollar companies who might, just might, have a better grasp of their finances and what's good for them:rolleyes:
 
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Earendil

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Oct 27, 2003
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Apple doesn't get the best of both worlds - throwing their weight around when they see fit, then claiming to only be a small segment and needing protection from all the big bad competitors.

Regardless, though, I think we all lose in this one. More ads for everyone no matter where you are or what device you use! Yay!

Huh? I'd agree with you if the FTC were Apple. However Apple is not "Throwing their weight around" in this decision. The FTC came to their conclusion without weight being thrown, and on the surface I tend to disagree with their decision.

Now someone else did make a good point about other cell companies could do the exact same thing Apple is doing, and they could all cut into Google/AdMob profit. However that isn't currently the case, and I'm not sure that the FTC saying "If Apple can do it, others can do it!" is the right apparoach. Not to mention that Apple hasn't yet done anything...
 
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theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
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Pathetic that in a supposedly "free market" a bureaucrat who understands nothing about the industry can block a merger.
When you say "a bureaucrat", do you mean an agency full of bureaucrats and experts in law and industry making decisions and explaining them in length? If so, then the answer is yes. Oh, by the way, you know that "free market" requires a healthy amount of competition, which from time to time needs some law enforcement, don't you?
 
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plokoonpma

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Mar 14, 2006
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When the FTC needs to stand up and be effective... it just failed.
For the FTC is ok for Google to buy AdMob and become the super biggest ad web & mobile provider cause Apple bought Quatto to became the biggest ad platform in its OWN iPhone platform. It is like the FTC says that Google can rule the universe cause Apple rules a moon.
:mad:
 
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mrochester

macrumors 68020
Feb 8, 2009
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When the FTC needs to stand up and be effective... it just failed.
For the FTC is ok for Google to buy AdMob and become the super biggest ad web & mobile provider cause Apple bought Quatto to became the biggest ad platform in its OWN iPhone platform. It is like the FTC says that Google can rule the universe cause Apple rules a moon.
:mad:

I guess because Apple are perfectly entitled to release their ad platform to anyone and everyone if they choose. It can't be helped if they choose not to do that.
 
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