Google faces a tough fight to win Washington’s approval of its acquisition of AdMob after a key senator called for a close review of the deal.
Senator Herb Kohl, chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust sub-committee, has urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to scrutinise the $750 million (€560 million) acquisition of the mobile ad firm “very closely.”
In a letter to the FTC, Kohl said it was of “vital importance” that the commission be wary of any transaction that creates “undue market dominance” of search or application-based advertising on mobile devices such as smartphones.
“Allowing any one firm to dominate this market could result in higher prices for mobile advertising on the Internet and with respect to smart phone applications,” wrote Kohl.
The FTC for several months has been investigating the proposed acquisition which, if successful, would give Google an estimated 21% of the US mobile ad market.
The FTC has put together an internal litigation team to investigate the deal, reports the WSJ.
The paper says the move could be a sign that the FTC will challenge the purchase on anti-competition grounds.