WASHINGTON (CN) – The Federal Trade Commission has closed its antitrust investigation of Google’s proposed plan to buy online advertiser AdMob for $750 million, finding it unlikely that the deal will significantly reduce competition for advertising on mobile devices.
Because Google and AdMob are the leading competitors among mobile ad networks, the FTC was initially concerned that the loss of AdMob would give Google an unfair market advantage by eliminating its biggest competitor.
This concern was apparently alleviated when Apple bought the third largest mobile ad network, Quattro Wireless, in December 2009. Apple then introduced its own mobile advertising network, iAd, as part of its iPhone applications package, according to a statement issued by the FTC.
The FTC believes Apple will become a major Google competitor for online advertising based on Apple’s extensive relationships with application developers and users, and its ability to offer targeted ads to the users of its mobile devices.
Apple owns the software development tools for the iPhone and controls its developer license agreements, which the FTC believes will allow Apple to guide future advertising platforms on its devices and to control the access other platforms can have to its mobile devices.