According to a press release by the Federal Trade Commission, the investigation into Google's acquisition of AdMob has been dropped in a five to nothing vote. AdMob is one of the world's largest mobile advertising companies and serves over 7.1 million mobile ads per month. After much deliberation, the FTC decided that the deal is unlikely to harm competition.
It had originally been feared that a Google-AdMob deal would raise major antitrust issues. Because of this, it seemed certain that the FTC would move to block the deal from taking place. However, recent events by Apple have changed the minds of the Commission. Back when Apple announced the iPad, the company unveiled its new mobile advertising endeavour, called iAd. Because of this increase in competition, the Commission felt there to be plenty of room for the combination of Google and AdMob to flex its muscles in the mobile ad market.
"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. Though we have determined not to take action today, the Commission will continue to monitor the mobile marketplace to ensure a competitive environment and to protect the interests of consumers."
As evidenced by Google's new mobile ad demonstrations at its I/O developer conference this week, Apple and Google have very different approaches to mobile ads. While both systems share some similar characteristics, Google will continue building upon its already lucrative ad network and its partners, as well as allow third-party ad networks to freely display their money makers on the Android platform. Apple, on the other hand, is new to the ad game and seems to be targeting advertisers who are willing to shell out millions of dollars for a place on its iProducts.