BRUSSELS May 10 Regulatory authorities should
look closely into Google's buy of mobile advertising leader
AdMob as this reinforces Google's market power, the head of WPP
(WPP.L), the world's largest advertising group by sales, said on
Last November, world number 1 search engine Google (GOOG.O)
unveiled the $750 million deal to buy AdMob, which controls
about one third of the market for putting ads on mobile
applications and web pages.
Sources familiar with the U.S. antitrust inquiry into the
acquisition have told Reuters they were concerned about the
impact of the deal on applications developers. [ID:nN09134337]
"It (regulatory investigation) should be rigorous. Our
clients will welcome a close look," WPP chief executive Martin
Sorrell told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic
Forum on Europe.
"I don't think in the case of DoubleClick it was deep enough
and strong enough," he said.
Google bought online ad delivery company DoubleClick for
$3.1 billion in 2008. It secured unconditional clearance from EU
antitrust regulators for the deal after U.S. enforcers said the
deal did not pose a competitive threat in Internet advertising.
Google has stepped up efforts to expand into the mobile
market, responding to the trend among consumers to increasingly
access the Internet from cell phones.
Its Android software for smartphones is available on more
than a dozen handsets from different vendors, making Google one
of the companies best-positioned to challenge Apple Inc's
(AAPL.O) popular iPhone, say analysts.
Google, which makes 97 percent of its sales from advertising
last year, has faced growing antitrust scrutiny.
The European Commission, the EU antitrust watchdog, is now
looking into complaints by three online companies against
Google. It can fine companies up to 10 percent of their global
revenues for violating EU competition rules.
(Reporting by Marcin Grajewski; Writing by Foo Yun Chee;
Editing by Mike Nesbit)