Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Left Further Behind in Advertising

"Advertising is far from impotent or harmless; it is not a mere mirror image. Its power is real, and on the brink of a great increase. Not the power to brainwash overnight, but the power to create subtle and real change. The power to prevail."

--Eric Clark



Summary: Now that the AdMob acquisition is approved, Tricia Duryee says that "Microsoft won’t have a chance to buy the largest mobile advertising network"

Google has been fighting to gain more control with the AdMob deal and this fight pays off at the end as barriers are dropped [1, 2, 3] and Google is expected to swallow another company.



According to the FTC’s statement, evidence gathered by the agency raised important questions about the transaction. Google and AdMob have competed head-to-head for the past few years, with a notable increase in intensity during the past year. This competition has spurred innovation and allowed mobile publishers to keep a large share of the revenue generated from the sale of their ad space. The companies also have economies of scale that give them a major advantage over smaller rivals in the business, the statement says.

These concerns, however, were outweighed by recent evidence that Apple is poised to become a strong competitor in the mobile advertising market, the FTC’s statement says. Apple recently acquired Quattro Wireless and used it to launch its own iAd service. In addition, Apple can leverage its close relationships with application developers and users, its access to a large amount of proprietary user data, and its ownership of iPhone software development tools and control over the iPhone developers’ license agreement.


Worth paying attention to is the "proprietary user data" which Apple is mentioned for. Here is the response from the American Antitrust Institute (AAI):

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision not to challenge Google’s acquisition of AdMob is understandable given the nascent and changing nature of the mobile advertising market and Apple’s emergence as a likely formidable competitor in this market. The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) agrees with the FTC’s conclusion that, particularly as a result of Apple’s recent actions, current market shares are unlikely to be an accurate predictor of future market shares or whether the Google/AdMob combination will be able to exercise market power. Indeed, press reports indicate that Apple’s licensing agreements with iPhone application developers may prevent developers from using competing mobile ad networks.


One Microsoft blog characterises this as a preparation for competition between Google (Android/Linux) and Apple (hypePhone). Tricia Duryee says that it "paves way for Microsoft to make a move in mobile advertising":

There’s one thing for sure now: Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) won’t have a chance to buy the largest mobile advertising network now that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has received approval to go-ahead with its $750 million acquisition of AdMob.


We already understand how Google harms Microsoft's monopoly and there is suspicion that Google and Apple might replace Microsoft one day.

Google landed some big hits against Apple yesterday at their I/O developer conference. Reading through the narrative coverage, you’d think they were the only two companies that matter, which leads me to ask, whatever happened to Microsoft?


Apple and Microsoft are in turn threatening with software patents, which are the biggest threat to software freedom. Google's threat to freedom is different in nature.

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