FTC May Put Kibosh On Google’s AdMob Deal

Despite the fact that the mobile advertising market is still young and fragmented, U.S. regulators apparently are concerned that Google’s proposed acquisition of AdMob could give it an unfair competitive advantage. Google got an inkling that the FTC might want to give the deal a second look shortly after it was announced. At the end of December, the company received a "second request" for
additional information from the agency, Paul Feng, group product
manager, wrote in Google’s Public Policy blog. Shortly thereafter, two consumer groups — Consumer Watchdog and the
Center for Digital Democracy — asked the Federal Trade Commission to block the deal, arguing that it would lessen competition and harm consumers, advertisers and application developers, among others.

AdMob May Win Big Even As Privacy Debate Rages

It’s these highly personalized capabilities that raise the hackles of
privacy advocates, however. They raise a host of questions about "how
the data is used and manipulated without the consumer understanding,"
said John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog. Those concerns are only
heightened by the proposed acquisition by Google, which he said could
bore deeper into personal information by coupling its rich user
databases with AdMob’s.

Google Does An About-Face On China Policy

San Francisco, CA — In a surprise announcement late Tuesday, Google Inc. said it may turn its back on the huge Chinese market after a sophisticated cyber attack on the e-mail accounts of human rights advocates in the Asian nation. Some have dubbed the country’s censorship efforts, which apply to Yahoo
Inc. and Microsoft Corp.’s search engines too, the "Great Firewall of
China." Users of Google.cn in China generally couldn’t look at images
of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, dig up information about Tibet’s
Dalai Lama or access the Web site for journalism watchdog organization
Reporters Without Borders, according to reports. "While Google
should never have agreed to censor search results in China in the first
place, it is doing the right thing by ending the practice now," said
John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog in Los Angeles. "The company should
be commended."

Taking Aim At Google, Apple Buys Mobile Ad Firm

Apple has bought mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless as cellphone competition heats up between the maker of the iPhone and Internet giant Google. Google’s purchase of AdMob is currently being examined by the US
Federal Trade Commission, and two consumer groups, the Center for
Digital Democracy and Consumer Watchdog, have urged the FTC to oppose
the deal on anti-trust grounds.

Smart Phone Apps Can Find You, Follow You

The Center for Digital Democracy and U.S. Public Interest Research
Group filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission last January,
arguing that people should be asked for their consent before their
information can be collected and used for mobile advertising. The
Center for Digital Democracy and Consumer Watchdog have urged the FTC
to reject Google’s acquisition of AdMob, citing both competitive and
privacy concerns.

Consumer Groups Lobby FTC To Block Google’s Acquisition Of AdMob

Google recently revealed that the Federal Trade Commission was intensely reviewing the search giant’s recent $750 million acquisition of mobile ad network AdMob.  Last week, Google said the FTC has made a second request for further information about the deal. Today, two consumer groups, Consumer Watchdog and the Center For Digital Democracy, have asked the FTC to block the deal on anti-trust grounds and possible privacy issues.

Google And Apple Not Off The Hook

The resignation of Google’s Eric Schmidt as a director of Apple’s board
has failed to halt a government inquiry into possible antitrust

Mr. Schmidt stepped down because the search giant’s business increasingly competes with Apple’s. Former Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson still serves on both boards. Consumer Watchdog has called for him to step down from either Google or Apple to avoid antitrust violations.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Resigns From Apple’s Board

Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s resignation today from Apple’s board underscored that it when comes to business, competition is thicker than friendship. Meanwhile, a consumer group, Consumer Watchdog, on Monday called on
Genentech Board Chairman Arthur Levinson, who sits on the boards of
Google and Apple, to quit one of them to avoid antitrust violations. In addition to conflicts that could arise from sitting on the boards of
competing companies, Genentech is an investor with Google in the
genetic testing company 23andMe run by Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google
co-founder Sergey Brin.

FTC Says Google, Apple Probe Still On As Spotlight Shifts

Consumer Watchdog Wants Genentech Exec To Quit Google Or Apple Board

Consumer Watchdog, formerly known as the Foundation for Taxpayer and
Consumer Rights, called on former Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson to pick one board or the other. ?It
took Eric Schmidt far too long to realize that the two roles are
incompatible. That’s not surprising considering the clubby atmosphere
of Silicon Valley,? said John M. Simpson, a Consumer Watchdog consumer
advocate, in a written statement. ?Nonetheless, we’re glad Schmidt
finally did the right thing. We call on Levinson to act responsibly and
choose one company or the other.?

Google Openness Is A Closed Door — Open Source Versus An Open Mind

When Google meets with Congressional staffers, hoping to convince US lawmakers that it’s nothing but good for the world, the web giant likes to say that it believes in openness. "Open is better than closed, “the company says. Open "enhances competition" and "encourages innovation.” But if you ask the company to discuss its openness, it’s not too open about it. Late last week, the consumer watchdog known only as Consumer Watchdog
uncovered the canned pitch that Google recently launched at Capitol Hill in an effort to re-spin itself.