Watchdog Groups Speak Out Against Google/AdMob Deal

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The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and Consumer Watchdog have asked the Federal Trade Commission to deny Google's proposed $750 million buy of mobile marketing company Ad Mob.

"The FTC should conduct the appropriate investigation, block the proposed Google/AdMob deal, and also address the privacy issues," said CDD Executive Director Jeff Chester.

In a letter to the FTC, the groups said that if the deal is allowed, it will need privacy guarantees or will pose "a serious threat to consumers."

Google spokespeople had not responded to a request for comment at press time, but in a recent blog posting updating the deal, Google product manager Paul Feng said that the company still did not see any regulatory hurdles.

He pointed to what he said was the "rapidly growing mobile advertising space is highly competitive with more than a dozen mobile ad networks."

He also said that the FTC has asked for more information from the companies, which suggests that it is eyeing the deal closely. Last week, the commission issued a "second request" for information, which Feng conceded meant don't look for the deal to close quickly.

If the FCC's broadband under chairman Julius Genachowski is correct that video media and the Internet are merging, and that mobile broadband will be a huge player going forward, the online advertising space could be a huge growth opportunity.

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