Antitrust regulators are reported by Bloomberg news service to be seeking sworn statements from Google’s competitors and advertisers as they continue to investigate the the Internet giant’s proposed $750 million deal to buy AdMob.
Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy called on the Federal Trade Commission last December to block Google’s acquisition of the mobile advertising company on antitrust grounds. We said the deal raises privacy concerns as well.
Bloomberg, citing people with "direct knowledge of the situation," said at least two companies are being asked to sign statements.
When the FTC asks for sworn statements, it’s a sign the commission’s staff is serious and is contemplating recommending litigation. Bloomberg put it this way:
Agency officials typically collect declarations “when they think there is some significant chance” the agency will ask a court to block a merger, or seek to modify a deal, said Stephen Calkins, a former general counsel at the FTC who is now a professor of law at Wayne State University’s law school in Detroit.
Add this news from the FTC to the Justice Department’s strong position opposing the proposed Google Books settlement, and it seems the nation’s trustbusters have developed real spine and are finally acting in the interest of consumers.