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Jun172011

DOJ to Review Google and Admeld $400 Million Deal

Last week, diTiiĀ .comĀ reported that Google planned to purchase publisher-side ad optimization firm Admeld for approximately $400 Million dollars — and earlier this week Google confirmed the acquisition of Admeld in a company’s blog post.

Now, according to a report the deal is expected to be reviewed by the Department of Justice to ensure it wouldn’t hurt competition in the display advertising industry.

The Justice Department review comes as the Federal Trade Commission prepares a separate investigation of Mountain View, California-based Google’s dominance of the Internet search industry, three people familiar with the matter said in April.

Simultaneous antitrust investigations of one company by the two agencies is “unusual,” said Rebecca Arbogast, a Washington-based analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co., adding that probes by regulators are fast becoming the “new normal” for Google.

At the moment, FTC is preparing “a broad-based antitrust investigation into whether Google is abusing its dominant position in Internet search.”

The two agencies are jointly tasked with enforcing federal antitrust laws and reviewing mergers and acquisitions. A review of the Admeld deal was expected because of its size. Google and the Justice Department declined to comment.

In the past, FTC has reviewed many of Google’s advertising acquisitions, including its $750 million purchase last year of AdMob, which helps place digital ads on mobile devices, and its $3.2 billion deal in 2007 for DoubleClick, then a giant in the market for graphical ads, also known as a display.

[Via WSJ]

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