The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly collecting affidavits from Google’s rivals over its proposed acquisition of AdMob, indicating it could be planning to scupper the deal.
Bloomberg reported that at least two firms have been asked to submit signed statements to the FTC, which has been investigating the $750 million (€547.8 million) deal since late last year.
The commission is looking into whether Google’s purchase of AdMob could reduce competition in the market.
Google was rumoured to have beaten Apple in the race for AdMob, offering $350 million more than Apple was prepared to pay.
The FTC typically seeks affidavits “when they think there is some significant chance” it will go to court or attempt to alter a deal, Stephen Calkins, a former general counsel at the FTC, told Bloomberg.
But he added it was not uncommon for the FTC to request affidavits and then not go to court.
A Google spokesperson said the internet search giant was confident that the FTC would find that “the rapidly growing mobile advertising space will remain highly competitive” in the wake the AdMob deal being finalised.
One of the problems is the lack of reliable market data. According to IDC, the Google-AdMob combine would command 21% of the US mobile ad market. Another consultancy, Ground Truth, estimates AdMob already has 61% of the market, the FT said.