Google’s planned purchase of publisher-side ad optimization firm Admeld is expected to be reviewed by the Department of Justice to ensure it doesn’t illegally inhibit competition in the display advertising industry. That according to reports from The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and others, which cite sources familiar with the matter.
The company announced its plans for the acquisition earlier this week. Reports peg the purchase price at near $400 million.
It’s unsurprising that any significant Google acquisition should receive regulatory scrutiny, given the size and power of the company. The Department of Justice reviewed the company’s buy of ITA Software, and finally came to an agreement with Google over conditions under which it would not oppose the transaction. The Federal Trade Commission has conducted other investigations, including of Google’s purchase of AdMob and of DoubleClick.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the FTC is currently preparing “a broad-based antitrust investigation into whether Google is abusing its dominant position in Internet search.” Meanwhile, the DOJ is reportedly investigating Google’s handling of advertising by illegal pharmacies.
In arguing against any anti-competitive concerns regarding Admeld, Google will likely bring up the competitors in the yield optimization space, Rubicon Project, 5to1, and Pubmatic. When the company announced the deal on its blog, it mentioned no fewer than a dozen companies that play some role in the display ad space.