The Justice Department asked Google for a second request for information regarding its $400 million Admeld acquisition bid.
Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) proposal to acquire display ad
provider Admeld is getting a second request for information from the Justice
Google in June agreed
to purchase Admeld for $400 million
to help large Website publishers select ads
from ad networks such as Google's, Advertising.com and Yahoo's Right Media.
Admeld counts Thomson Reuters and News Corp. among its customers.
However, due to the size of the deal and Google's already
strong position in the online advertising market, the DOJ quickly requested information on the proposed merger
Neal Mohan, the Google vice president of display ads who
is shepherding the deal, said July 27 that the regulator sent the search engine
a second request for info given the purchase price of the deal.
"This doesn't surprise us, as today's display
advertising industry is very new and highly complex," Mohan said in a blog post
. "But we'll work to enable this review to be
concluded as quickly as possible - display advertising is highly competitive
and fast moving, and we don't want our efforts to bring better services to our
clients to be delayed."
Unlike the search ad market Google largely owns, the display
ad field is much more competitive. Buyers and sellers choose amog direct sales,
networks, exchanges, demand and supply platforms and more.
Still, IDC said Google is now the U.S. display ad sales
share leader, passing Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) with 14.7 percent market share. Many ad experts
have argued Admeld's technology is one of the last major puzzle pieces Google
has yet to add as it seeks to expand it ad purview.
The DOJ's second request is common enough in the industry.
While some industry watchers argue second requests for info are signals a
watchdog is concerned about a deal's potential affect on competition in a
sector, it does not signal the DOJ is looking to block the deal.
After all, the DOJ requested more info for Google's ITA
Software buy before approving it this year. Ditto for the Federal Trade
Commission, which put Google's AdMob buy through the regulatory ringer before
approving it in May 2010.
The FTC is currently undertaking a broad antitrust
into Google's search ad practices.