Google Ups Mobile Ad Ante With AdMob Acquisition


Google Monday upped the ante in its battle for mobile market share with its planned $750 million acquisition of AdMob, a three-year-old mobile advertising display company.

AdMob, based in San Mateo, Calif., already serves ads for Apple's iPhone and a variety of platforms, including Google Android-based smartphones.

In a blog post, Google said the deal will provide users with more free or low-cost mobile apps. Furthermore, Google claimed the deal will benefit Web publishers, advertisers and developers.

Google Vice President, Product Management Susan Wojcicki and Google Vice President, Engineering Vic Gundotra said the deal paves the way for advances in smartphone display advertising.

"For publishers of mobile websites and applications, this deal will mean better products and tools and more effective monetization of their content — allowing them to focus more on their users and less on how to generate revenue," wrote Wojcicki and Gundotra in a posting on the Google Web site. "For advertisers who want to reach users when they are engaged with mobile content, this deal will bring better, more relevant ads and greater reach. It will also mean more interesting, engaging ad formats."

"Last, but certainly not least, we believe users will benefit from this deal -- through more mobile content and through better mobile ads that deliver useful information," added Wojcicki and Gundotra.

The deal must still be approved by government regulators. In a swipe at potential antitrust concerns that could be raised by the U.S. Justice Department, Google maintained that the deal is similar to mobile advertising acquisitions made by Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL. "The mobile advertising space will remain highly competitive, with more than a dozen mobile ad networks," said Google in a posting on the deal.

"Mobile advertising is a rapidly growing and competitive space, and Google and AdMob are currently specializing in different areas," said Google. "Though Google offers many forms of mobile advertising, its focus to date has been on mobile search ads, while AdMob's focus has been mobile display ads and in-application ads."

AdMob Founder and CEO Omar Hamoui, who started the company when he couldn't find more fruitful ways to generate traffic for his mobile site, characterized the deal as a turning point for those that have had trouble monetizing content and building engaging products for smartphones and other mobile products.

"I'm excited because I believe this will be an important moment for everyone involved in producing, consuming, or monetizing engaging products on mobile," said Hamoui in posting on the AdMob Web site. "The truth is that the mobile industry has had no shortage of creative energy, amazing products, and talented entrepreneurs. But until now, it has always felt like those of us involved in this space played second fiddle to our online brethren. I believe that time is over."

Hamoui said he and the AdMob team will remain with Google. "The best part of all this is what's next," he wrote in a blog posting. "We are not going away. After our deal with Google closes, we will work together to accelerate the pace of innovation in this area."

"Our product and engineering teams will keep building great products for all of our customers," wrote Hamoui. "Our business development team will keep working to maximize ad revenue for the more than 15,000 mobile Web sites and applications that make up AdMob's publisher network. Our sales teams will keep working with our thousands of advertisers to deliver successful campaigns and our marketing group will keep pushing to get the word out about mobile."