The FTC has closed its investigation of Apple’s acquisition of the AdMob, today. After thoroughly
reviewing the deal and it concluded that it is unlikely to harm
competition in the emerging market for mobile advertising networks. They cited Apple’s new ad network as a clear competitor.
The second largest mobile ad network Millennial Media approved.
“As one of the very few key market makers in the mobile advertising space, we applaud the FTC’s decision today to approve the Google/AdMob deal. Although Millennial Media didn’t have a direct dog in this fight, we were a willing participant in industry data and information sharing with the FTC. And, one of the largest outcomes of this deal is that the FTC recognized how competitive this market is and can be-provided it remains an open ecosystem. The burden is now on regulators, and Apple in particular, to preserve an open and competitive market that will provide the most choice and value for developers and consumers, no matter how tempting it is to do otherwise,” said Paul Palmieri, president and CEO, Millennial Media.
If you look at the number IDC’s first estimate on market share for
the mobile ad networks there is plenty of competion (Nov ‘09):
Google & AdMob: 21%
Millennial Media: 12%
Quattro Wireless: 7%
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. to launch its own,
competing mobile ad network.
They also noted a number of firms
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
According to the FTC’s statement, evidence gathered by
agency raised important questions about the transaction. Google and
AdMob have competed head-to-head for the past few years, with a notable
increase in intensity during the past year. This competition has
spurred innovation and allowed mobile publishers to keep a large share
of the revenue generated from the sale of their ad space. The companies
also have economies of scale that give them a major advantage over
smaller rivals in the business, the statement says.