FTC Homing in on GoogleMob?

Since Google announced its acquisition of AdMob six months ago, the companies have face opposition. First consumer groups eyed the deal—then the FTC started taking statements from other companies in the industry. Now, it looks like the FTC is gearing up for even more scrutiny.

Of course, it may not have a whole lot to do with the US federal government’s deep-rooted concern for the mobile advertising industry. Reports AllThingsD:

“The federal government is looking for a way to discipline Google in some way, because of larger concerns about its search power on the Web,” said one source. “And this is where it looks like it will try to show that concern.”

Google Bringing GPS Navigation to iPhone…This Just In: No It’s Not

You’ve got to love how quickly rumors can start, spread, and become fact, all before you can say “Google world domination.”

Case in point? MacUser published on Thursday what appeared to be a scoop:

The navigation system is available as a free update to Google Maps on Android phones, but won’t stop there. Google confirmed at a London press conference that it plans to bring free satnav to other smartphone platforms, including the iPhone, although it wouldn’t say when.

Excitement ensued. Posts flew around the web, gushing over Google’s pre-cached, always up-to-date, navigation capabilities.

iPhone users everywhere salivated.

Then this:

“We did not say we would bring it to iPhone, we said to date we’ve had it on Android and that in the future it may come to other platforms but did not confirm this will be coming to iPhone at all,” a Google spokesperson told PCWorld.

Facebook Taking Over the Internetz

Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, but that’s not quite enough for them. Finally ready to venture outside their walled garden, Facebook may be unveiling a decentralized version of their site that allows Facebook users to interact on on other sites around the web. But does this mean Facebook’s ready to cede control of its users, or is it just extending its greedy grasp further?

Says the New York Times:

Details of Facebook’s plans — which involve a variation on its “Share” button, already prevalent on many sites — are expected to be introduced by Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, on Wednesday during its conference here for third-party developers. But even before Facebook makes its plans public, its aim to become a social networking force across the Web is facing competition.

Did Google’s Eric Schmidt Quit Apple’s Board Over AdMob Squabble?

OK, bear with me hear, but I’m going to put some pieces together to explain why Google and Apple went from being great friends, to arch-rivals.

At the time, this looked like a coincidence:

August 3rd, 2009 – Eric Schmidt resigns his position on Apple’s board of directors, citing "conflicts of interest" in some of Apple’s "core businesses."

November 9th, 2009 – Google acquires mobile advertising platform AdMob for a reported $750M.

December 28th, 2009 - Consumer Groups start lobbying the FTC to block the AdMob acquisition on the grounds of decreasing competition in the market.

March 11th, 2010 – The FTC suddenly starts asking Google’s rivals, what they think of the deal.

Yesterday, April 8, 2010 – Apple CEO Steve Jobs let’s the following slip during his Q&A with the press:

Apple to Announce New Mobile Ads, And Google’s the Happiest of All

Apple is hosting an iPhone developer event Thursday, where they’ll most likely talk about adapting to the iPad—and a new mobile advertising platform. While I’m sure the developers and Apple are pretty excited at the prospect of more money, it’s Google that might be cheering the loudest.

Once upon a time, the two companies were friendly, but especially since Google has entered the mobile phone market, the two have become rivals—and that’s exactly why Google will be excited to see a new ad platform from Apple. After Google announced its acquisition of in-app ad platform AdMob in November, they’ve faced scrutiny from consumer groups and the FTC, especially since there appear to be few rivals for

Yahoo Locates Foursquare for Purchase?

When the news is slow it’s always a relief to find a good juicy rumor to pass along to the readers of Marketing Pilgrim. Heck, if it wasn’t for rumors about Internet companies and other Internet related things there would be precious little to talk about on any day.

So what’s the latest? We hear from the folks at The Business Insider that Yahoo is looking to acquire Foursquare for somewhere in the range of $100 million.

Deal-makers are deciding right now whether or not to buy super-hot location-based startup Foursquare for ~$100 million, says a source close to bankers involved in Foursquare’s current fundraising efforts.

A source close to Yahoo told us a Foursquare-owned Yahoo “would be nice.” This source told us “we’ve had discussions,” but cautioned: “We talk to everybody.”

Want to Buy Facebook Shares? Too Bad

Facebook is a hot property, in case you haven’t noticed. Rumors of an IPO have run rampant for three years, but still there’s no news on that front. Meanwhile, Facebook is trying to clamp down on secondary sales of its privately-held stock—especially by employees, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Last week, Facebook announced a new employee stock policy:

The policy says employees who sell their shares could face disciplinary action or be fired, one of these people said. The new rule also leaves room for the company to open a trading window during which employees would be allowed to sell shares in the future.

Facebook spokesman Larry Yu said the company implemented the “insider trading policy to better comply with insider trading laws and to protect the interests of the company and its employees and shareholders.”