The bad news for Google is that the FTC still hasn’t approved its acquisition of AdMob, and according to a fresh report, has in fact decided to take even more time to think things over. The good news is that the FTC was supposedly motivated to review the situation by a development that makes a Google monopoly look less probable.
Brad Stone first touched on the new timeframe by writing late yesterday, "The Federal Trade Commission got a two-week extension from Google and AdMob for its review of Google’s $750 million acquisition, according to two people briefed on the review process."
He then described the cause of the delay by stating, "The agency wants to use the additional time, in part, to better understand the competitive effects of Apple’s purchase of Quattro Wireless, an AdMob rival, and Apple’s impending introduction of its new iAds mobile advertising system, these people said."
If the FTC determines that Apple can compete with Google, that may address most of its antitrust fears (at least as they pertain to this particular situation). The iPhone doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, after all, and Apple has enough money to pursue almost anything it pleases.
It’s still hard to judge how this will turn out, though, considering that many analysts believe Android’s multipronged and fast-moving approach more or less guarantees that it will keep the iPad in check. Also, even if the FTC feels Apple can prevent Google from dominating the mobile ad market, it might not approve of a duopoly and just go after both corporations.
It shouldn’t be much longer before the FTC finally lets the world in on its thought process, anyway.