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Did Apple Hand Google a “Get Out of FTC Jail” Card?




Have you ever had some news to share with others–so exciting– that you simply can’t wait to get the word out?

The kind of news that you really should keep quiet about, but you’re just so giddy about it you have to tell everyone, no matter what the consequences?

Steve Jobs knows that experience.

You see, last month the Apple CEO couldn’t wait to share the company’s upcoming iAds–advertising for iPhone apps–and stick it to Google. Unfortunately for Jobs, that premature announcement tipped Apple’s hand and gave Google the ammunition it needed to push through its acquisition of AdMob–yes, the same company Apple tried to acquire.

The FTC looked all set to oppose the deal until Apple went and opened its big corporate mouth. Now the FTC just extended its review for another two weeks, so it can look at how Apple’s iAds might compete with Google. In addition, Apple’s not exactly helping its cause, says the NYT:

One factor that could be complicating the F.T.C.’s review, said a person briefed on the process, is Apple’s famous reluctance — even with federal regulators — to open up about its business plans. It is unclear what kind of effect that the iAds system, which Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, unveiled last month along with new software for the iPhone, could have on the overall mobile ad market. Apple’s iAds, unlike mobile ads from Google and AdMob, will appear only on the iPhone, and the system will cater exclusively to high-end advertisers, at least at first.

So, the next time you feel the urge to leak details of your next big “thing” you might want to consider whether keeping quiet for another few weeks, might make more sense. After all, Apple’s iAds aren’t even close to a public launch, so if it had just kept quiet for another month, Google would more than likely have had its AdMob deal scuttled.

Now, we’ll just have to wait and see.