There are more signs that federal regulators may be ready to challenge Google’s purchase of AdMob, the mobile advertising company it bought for $750 million in November.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that the groundwork is in place for a formal government challenge:
The FTC has assembled an internal litigation team to prepare for a possible effort to block the deal, according to people familiar with the matter. It also has sent letters to several of AdMob’s competitors asking them to testify in sworn statements about the potential impact of the acquisition, according to several other people. In addition, the agency has briefed Congress about its concerns, people familiar with the matter said.
The Journal says FTC commissioners haven’t voted yet on whether to try blocking the deal, and that Google’s lawyers continue to lobby the commission in favor of the purchase. A Google spokesperson gave this statement to the Journal:
While we’re continuing to work with the FTC, there is overwhelming evidence that mobile advertising will remain competitive after this deal closes.
Today’s news falls in line with our similar report last month about the FTC’s request for statements from Google’s competitors.