Google-Admeld deal under closer regulatory scrutiny

The Department of Justice has asked Google for more information on its proposed acquisition of display advertising optimisation firm, Admeld.

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The Department of Justice has asked Google for more information on its proposed acquisition of display advertising optimisation firm, Admeld.

The request suggests that the DOJ is doing more than a cursory review of the deal, through which Google hopes to grab a larger slice of the display advertising market.

The DOJ usually asks for additional information and documentary material relevant to a proposed acquisition, generally referred to as "second request", after a preliminary review by it or the Federal Trade Commission consumer watchdog.

In a post on its public policy blog, Google portrayed the "second request" as a normal part of many acquisitions.

"We've been discussing this deal with the Department of Justice, who are obliged to review the transaction because of its purchase price," Neal Mohan, Google's vice president of display advertising, said in the blog post.

Google said in June that it was acquiring Admeld for an undisclosed amount. Admeld is a "yield optimization" company that attempts to help advertisers get the most from the increasingly confusing array of advertising networks, agencies and exchanges.

Mohan said that the display advertising business is, and will remain, extremely competitive. Since it announced the Admeld acquisition, at least three new and expanded platforms for buyers and publishers have been launched, while others have continued to grow, Mohan said.

"While the Department of Justice works to finish their review, it's business as usual for our clients, and we'll continue to actively work to improve our solutions for our partners in the display advertising space," he added.

The growth of Google and its expansion into a variety of new fields implicate a variety of new regulatory issues, and it has experienced increased regulatory scrutiny as it has grown, the company said in a regulatory filing. It said it was cooperating with the FTC and the European Commission in investigations they are conducting with respect to its business and its impact on competition.

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