Google wins big with AdMob ruling

Despite the growing rivalry between Google and Apple, the FTC approval of Google’s AdMob purchase proves the tech giants are indispensable to each other on at least one effort– circumventing antitrust scrutiny. Despite tough talk from members of the FTC in recent months, the commission cited Apple’s recent purchase of Quattro Wireless as proof that Google’s purchase will not harm competition in the growing online ad marketplace.

With mobile phones outnumbering computers by more than 4 to 1 and smart phones upping their IQ and prevalence by the day, mobile marketing is poised to hold huge financial rewards in the coming years. The Admob platform, which was launched in 2006, operates much like’s Google’s existing Content Network– allowing companies to syndicate ads to a large network of mobile publishers. AdMob has already served a host of major clients including Ford, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble and fits seamlessly into the Google world, giving existing clients another major weapon to utilize in ad campaigns.

Although Juniper Research forecasts that mobile advertising will only account for 1.5% of total advertising expenditures by 2014, Google and Apple will try to expand that marketplace at lightning speed– and they now have the tools to do it.  Google’s Android/AdMob suite is a potent combo as is Apple’s iPhone/iAds pairing, and the race for mobile domination is now in full swing If there’s one misstep Apple still needs to recover from, it is committing to an exclusive iPhone arrangement with AT&T which left Google a huge opening to compete in the mobile space. Anroid actually outsold the iPhone in Q1 of this year, and Apple is committed to AT&T’s overburdened network through 2012.

As far as antitrust battles go, Google has managed to win another round after already scoring a major victory with its Doubleclick purchase. And while Google might celebrate now, expect the company to be in the antitrust and privacy hot seat for years to come. Google is generally admired by the public and media, but growing power always comes with heightened scrutiny. Public concern over online privacy issues are approaching fever pitch, and Google’s recent minor debacles with Google Buzz and Street View should keep the company on its toes to avoid any perception of being the modern world’s Big Brother.