On Friday, December 2nd, the United States Justice Department gave Google the go ahead to execute their $400 million dollar acquisition of AdMeld, a major display advertising company.
The Justice department did not require any conditions regarding the acquisition be made due to the fact that there are enough competitors of AdMeld that offer similar services.
For the past few years, Google has been acquiring many different companies from a wide variety of business areas. This is causing some controversy amongst competitors, regulators and consumer advocates because they are worried that Google is trying to influence its dominance in the online search arena to expand into other businesses. The deals they have made in the past range from the purchase of a restaurant review business to a cell phone manufacturer.
Google already stands out as the leader in the sale of text advertisements that appear next to search results. Through acquiring AdMeld this year and DoubleClick, a similar display advertising company, in 2008, Google is breaking into the expanding the display advertisement business. If Google succeeds they will acquire the use and sale of banners that run across the top of the webpage resulting in increasing their revenue which was up 33% last quarter.
Each major acquisition that Google is proposing is being carefully looked into by anti-trust officials. Earlier this year, the Justice Department approved a controversial deal with ITA software that resulted in some restrictions for Google. The Department of Justice released a statement regarding this AdMeld acquisition stating, “Although the Antitrust Division concluded that this particular transaction was unlikely to cause consumer harm, the division will continue to be vigilant in the enforcement of the antitrust laws to protect competition in display and other forms of online advertising”.
The Federal Trade Commission is also in the middle of an investigation regarding Google’s actions and the effects it has on their competition and the Justice Department is seriously reviewing the $12.5 million dollar bid Google made for Motorola Mobility.
Will Google succeed and take over world technology as we know it? We will just have to wait and see what happens in 2012.