Experts Say Google's AdMob Bid Shouldn't Spark Antitrust Concerns
Experts say the mobile ad market is too immature, small and fragmented for antitrust regulators to quell Google's bid to buy mobile ad exchange AdMob. AdMob could give Google 30 to 40 percent of the mobile ad market overnight if the deal passes muster. Given that position, it's tempting to think antitrust groups would be concerned with this buy. IDC analyst Karsten Weide, Kelsey Group analyst Michael Boland and Greystripe CEO Michael Chang all say the deal is good for the mobile ad space, which has been stymied by the recession. That could be Google's pass with the DOJ and FTC.Experts say the mobile ad market is too immature, small and fragmented for antitrust regulators to try to quell Google's bid to buy mobile ad exchange AdMob. When Google bid to buy AdMob for $750 million in stock Nov. 9, the search engine made sure to position the buy as a complement to its existing mobile search ad offerings, and compared it to purchases that rivals AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft have made.
Google, whose moves regarding search are always closely watched because it has 65 percent of the worldwide search market, went so far as to launch this special AdMob Website, looking to convince the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and any other parties that have turned a piercing eye to the search engine that the deal is good for the mobile ad space.
"Advertisers were scared away by mobile. Two years ago, the mobile Web was growing, there were more users, more devices such as the iPhone and then the economy tanked. Mobile advertising was attractive, but advertisers backburnered it. As we emerge from recession, and mobile Web grows, mobile marketing will ramp. By buying AdMob, Google makes it easier for advertisers."