Two consumer groups urged the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday to block Internet search and advertising giant Google's proposed purchase of mobile advertising company AdMob.
In a joint letter, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) asked the FTC to oppose Google's acquisition of AdMob on anti-trust grounds and said the deal also raises privacy concerns. The move comes after Google said last week that the FTC was seeking more information about its proposed US$750-million-acquisition of AdMob.
"The proposed deal would substantially lessen competition in the increasingly important mobile advertising market," Consumer Watchdog and the CDD said in their letter to FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz.
"Instead of acquiring dominance in this increasingly important market through legitimate competition and innovation, Google is buying its way to a preeminent position," the non-profit groups said.
They urged the FTC to use its "statutory and regulatory authority to oppose the merger."
"In addition to the antitrust issues, the specter of a combined Google/AdMob raises substantial privacy concerns that must be addressed by the commission," the groups said.
"Permitting the expansion of mobile advertising through the combination of these two market leaders without requiring privacy guarantees poses a serious threat to consumers," they said.