Apple finally officially made the leap into advertising on apps on its iPhone and iPad last week with the announcement of iAd. Of course, we’ve all been expecting that since they acquired Quattro Wireless—but it looked like no one was as excited as soon-to-be-full-on-rival Google.
As rumored, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt is already telling the US government what iAds mean for the mobile ad market. And the bottom line for him? iAds mean the FTC should approve Google’s acquisition of AdMob.
Well, of course.
Google’s acquisition was announced in November. The next month, consumer groups lobbied the FTC, saying the deal would stifle competition in the mobile app ad market. Last month, the FTC turned to rival app advertising companies for feedback on the pending deal.
According to Reuters, Schmidt thinks iAds pretty much make his case for him:
Apple’s plan to make a foray into the advertising market with iAd, was “evidence of a highly competitive market.”
“It just seems obvious to me,” said Schmidt.
Of course, Quattro was already a player in the app ad market, so it’s not like Apple’s introducing a totally new entity. However, with Apple’s backing, Quattro may be positioned to truly compete with a giant like Google.
It looks like Google definitely needs the help. According to Reuters:
FTC staff have been canvassing app developers to try to line up support to fight the deal, said one developer, who asked to remain unidentified because he had been interviewed by FTC attorneys.
“It’s been really interesting talking to them because they are so dead set against this,” said the developer. “They have been clearly positioning to try to stop this.”
Google is edging closer and closer to government action. In 2008, Google dropped its search ad deal with Yahoo just hours before the DOJ was going to file antitrust charges. Last year, Schmidt resigned from the Apple board after FTC scrutiny of his involvement in the two companies (and also because they both wanted to buy AdMob).
What do you think? Will this finally be the time Google can’t escape the government’s scrutiny?