* Google CEO expects AdMob decision in a few weeks
* Says AdMob acquisition is "very strategic"
* Apple's iPhone developers' decision is "discriminatory"
NEW YORK, May 18 Google Inc (GOOG.O) Chief
Executive Eric Schmidt said on Tuesday his company is prepared
to fight the U.S. government "very hard" if regulators block
the search leader's acquisition of mobile advertising firm
Schmidt said AdMob had been left at a "significant
disadvantage" in competing with rivals like Apple Inc (AAPL.O)
due to the hiatus as regulators have closely reviewed the $750
million acquisition, which was announced in November. He said
he expects a decision in a few weeks.
In an interview with Reuters Insider, Schmidt was asked
what Google would do in the event of the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) suing to block the deal.
"We're likely to fight very hard," he said. "It's a very
strategic acquisition for Google.".
Google, which generates the majority of its profits from
search advertising to Internet users on personal computers,
sees its future on wireless phones and software. The company
has its own mobile operating system called Android for a range
of phones and this year also unveiled its own phone called the
The move to the mobile phone has put Google in more direct
competition with Apple, whose successful iPhone has also been
supported by a move into advertising with the acquisition of
Quattro Wireless in January.
Apple recently changed the terms of service for iPhone
application developers to restrict them to using Apple's tool
to build their programs and from sharing certain iPhone data
with third parties.
Adobe Systems (ADBE.O), the maker of Flash software, is one
of the companies whose software can't be used by these
developers. Apple's recent moves have attracted interest from
the FTC, according to reports.
Schmidt said Apple's changes in terms of services
"discriminatory against other partners."
Schmidt said he hoped the AdMob acquisition could be
completed to allow it to compete with rivals like Apple.
"It would be better if the AdMob acquisition can be
approved to see if Google can get a more competitive market on
the iPhone platform."
Schmidt, who was previously an Apple director, stepped down
from Apple's board last August when it became clear the two
companies would be competing more directly in the wireless
He insisted that he and Apple CEO Steve Jobs remain good
friends and that the two companies will remain both rivals and
collaborators in different business areas.
"The relationship will continue to be complicated," he
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Gary Hill)