Consumer groups challenge Google's purchase of AdMob

08:22, December 29, 2009      

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Two consumer groups on Monday asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to block Internet search giant Google's proposed acquisition of mobile advertising company AdMob, saying the deal is anti-competitive and raises privacy concerns.

Google in November announced that it has agreed to purchase AdMob for 750 million U.S. dollars to enhance its expertise and technology in mobile advertising.

In a joint letter to the FTC, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy alleged that instead of legitimate competition and innovation, Google is simply buying its way to dominance in the mobile advertising market, "diminishing competition to the detriment of consumers."

Besides the anti-trust issues, the two groups believed the deal also raises substantial privacy concerns as the consolidation of AdMob into Google would "provide significant amounts of data for tracking, profiling and targeting U.S. mobile consumers."

The two groups therefore urged the FTC to conduct appropriate investigation, block the proposed deal and also address the privacy issues.

"The mobile sector is the next frontier of the digital revolution. Without vigorous competition and strong privacy guarantees this vital and growing segment of the online economy will be stifled," said the letter that was released by Consumer Watchdog on its website.

"Consumers will face higher prices, less innovation and fewer choices," the letter noted.

The challenge from the two groups came after Google last week confirmed that the FTC has requested further information about the proposed purchase, indicating the commission is scrutinizing the deal in great detail.

Source: Xinhua
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