Via Ars Technica, Google’s acquisition of online advertising company AdMob is not sitting well with the Federal Trade Commission:
According to people “familiar with the matter” speaking to the Wall Street Journal, the FTC has sent letters asking AdMob’s competitors to testify about the impact of the purchase and has briefed members of Congress on its concerns. The Commission has also put together a litigation team “to prepare for a possible effort to block the deal,” though a final decision has not yet been made.
At issue is Google’s dominance in the online advertising market. But as All Things Digital reports, a rumored entry into online advertising by a Google rival may help soothe things over with the FTC:
Apple is likely to introduce its mobile ad platform Thursday at its iPhone developer event, say sources familiar with the company’s plans. Expect to hear a loud cheer from Google, Apple’s former ally and current competitor.
Why would Google applaud the entrance of a new advertising rival? Because Google is trying to convince federal regulators that it has advertising rivals so that it can proceed with its $750 million purchase of AdMob. That deal is being held up for review by the Federal Trade Commission, and there have been consistent murmurs from Washington that the purchase could be in jeopardy.
In a ruling that could have major implications for both net neutrality and the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, a federal appeals court has determined that the commission over-reached when they banned Comcast from blocking some of their subscribers from BitTorrent.
“The FCC is firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans. It will rest these policies — all of which will be designed to foster innovation and investment while protecting and empowering consumers — on a solid legal foundation.
Today’s court decision invalidated the prior Commission’s approach to preserving an open Internet. But the Court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open Internet; nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end.”
Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion in Comcast v. FCC, No. 08-1291, which petitioned the Court to review an FCC Order issued in August of 2008.
The unanimous opinion, written by Circuit Judge Tatel and joined by Chief Judge Sentelle and Senior Circuit Judge Randolph, found for Comcast, granting the petition for review and vacating the FCC Order.
Comcast issued the following statement attributable to Sena Fitzmaurice, Vice President of Government Communications:
“We are gratified by the Court’s decision today to vacate the previous FCC’s order. Our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation. We have always been focused on serving our customers and delivering the quality open-Internet experience consumers want. Comcast remains committed to the FCC’s existing open Internet principles, and we will continue to work constructively with this FCC as it determines how best to increase broadband adoption and preserve an open and vibrant Internet.”
The National Broadband Plan highlights a decade of success and innovation in Internet technology. Relatively minimal regulation has helped achieve great advances in Internet technology and has brought broadband access to 95% of all Americans. Over the past decade, the cable and telecommunications industry has invested more than $165 billion in infrastructure and upgrades. The NTIA reports that broadband adoption has expanded to 63.5 percent of U.S. households as of October 2009, up from just 4.4 percent in 2000.
There is more to be done. Thirty-five percent of Americans still have not adopted broadband due to digital illiteracy, lack of resources or failure to appreciate the value and benefits. Too often, the slow adopters are those for whom broadband can make the biggest difference.
Last week, former FCC commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate penned a guest editorial for The Tennessean on the role of private investment to make the National Broadband Plan become a reality:
I heartily agree with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s remarks that “government has a crucial, but restrained, role” and that private investment and competition “play a vital role” in broadband expansion. Government could never have envisioned that TV would be watched on mobile phones, much less that our health-care could be monitored from hundreds of miles away. All of this became reality due to “light touch” policies that allowed technology, business models, private investment and, in the end, consumers to pick winners — and sometimes losers — not the government.
IIA Broadband Ambassador Navarrow Wright of Maximum Leverage Solutions speaks with Michael Cottman on American University Radio. Topics range from the National Broadband Plan and digital literacy to African-American entrepreneurship, technology and education.
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