Consumer groups challenge Google-AdMob deal

December 29, 2009

Two consumer advocacy groups (Consumer Watchdog and Center for Digital Democracy) sent a letter to the FTC Chairman yesterday asking the agency to block the proposed Google-AdMob deal. The letter is here.

The letter asserts the deal would be anti-competitive given AdMob’s leading position in the mobile advertising space.  The letter also raises privacy concerns given that the combined company would potentially be able to combine mobile and traditional web usage behavioral data.  Finally, questions are raised about Google’s ability to use AdMob data to assist in the launch of its rumored smartphone.

It will be interesting to see if the FTC takes an active role here.  I’m guessing not given that the mobile advertising industry is so young.  AdMob is certainly not in the position that Doubleclick was in related to online display advertising.

Update January 5, 2010: Apple is acquiring Quattro.  See announcement here.  At first glance, this development would seem to make the Google-AdMob deal more likely.

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