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Unlucky Google? Ad acquisition faces anti-trust

June 23, 2011
Although the US Department of Justice has given Mountain View the nod to bid for Nortel's much-desired mobile patents, Google's $400 million spend on internet ad company Admeld has sparked an anti-trust investigation all of its own.

According to The New York Times, the US Justice Department will review Google's multimillion purchase amid fears the acquisition could give Mountain View's mad men a monopoly on display advertising, given that Google's already snapped-up AdMob and DoubleClick. 

Rob Shikin, a Google spokesman, dismissed claims Google's stifling competition by describing display advertising as a "rapidly growing" industry. 

"This acquisition is designed to help publishers get the most from the rapidly growing display advertising industry, which is both complicated and incredibly competitive," Shikin said. "The emergence in recent years of a huge variety of technologies for publishers, like Admeld's, is great evidence of that." 

Neal Mohan, Google's vice president for display advertising, also tried to allay fears by explaining Admeld - a platform which helps publishers sell ad space in real time - will continue to support non-Google-owned ad networks.

"Of course, Admeld will continue to support other ad networks, demand-side platforms, exchanges and ad servers, to yield the best possible results for publishers," he said. 

While the Justice Department has yet to comment, Google seems to be feeling rather unlucky in general.

According to, Mountain View is reportedly testing Google homepages that no longer feature the firm's trademark "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. 

The move to excise Google's quirkier search option could irk the firm's top brass, as vice president Marissa Mayer reportedly remarked: "You know Larry and Sergey had the view, and I certainly share it, that it's possible to become too dry, too corporate, too much about making money. 

"And you know what I think is really delightful about Google and about the 'I'm Feeling Lucky,' is that they remind you that the people here have a personality and that they have interests and that there is real people."


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