Wednesday, December 07, 2011

U.S. Closes Investigation into Google’s Acquisition of Online Advertising Service Provider

This posting was written by Jeffrey May, Editor of CCH Trade Regulation Reporter.

Google Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Admeld Inc., an online display advertising service provider, will not be challenged by the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. The Justice Department has closed its investigation into the transaction.

In a December 2 statement, the Antitrust Division said that the transaction was not likely to substantially lessen competition in the sale of display advertising.

According to the statement, the Antitrust Division’s investigation focused on the potential effect of the proposed transaction on competition in the display advertising industry. Both Google and Admeld provide services and technology to web publishers that facilitate the sale of those publishers’ display advertising space, the Antitrust Division noted.

The government also evaluated whether Google’s acquisition of Admeld would enable Google to extend its market power in the Internet search industry to online display advertising through anticompetitive means.

The division said it will continue to rigorously enforce the antitrust laws to ensure that transactions affecting evolving markets such as display and other forms of online advertising, as well as search, do not inhibit competition or innovation in any way.

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