DOJ Extends Google-Admeld Acquisition Review

Admeld LogoGoogle has confirmed that the Department of Justice has made a “second request” for more information from Google, as regulators continue to review the $400 million acquisition of display ad firm AdMeld.

The DOJ’s 30-day review period expired Wednesday. “While routine, a second request increases the odds that the Justice Department will ultimately impose conditions on the deal or even file a complaint to block it, though few believe that’s a strong possibility,” AdAge reported.

It is widely expected that the deal, announced in June, will be approved, with reports indicating that investigators seem to understand the digital advertising space. But the DOJ will take its time determining whether this deal will give Google an anti-competitive advantage in online advertising.

“Google is a lot bigger than it was even in 2007 and concerns have been raised that owning AdMeld would give Google with a closed pipeline for the buying—through its demand-side platform Invite Media—and selling of display advertising,” paidContent noted.

Frank Addante, CEO of The Rubicon Project, an AdMeld competitor, had previously been quoted as saying that this “acquisition and this type of business model is good for Google, but bad for publishers.” Following up on this, paidContent reported that “a number of AdMeld competitors, such as The Rubicon Project and PubMatic, say they have seen increased interest in their respective offerings from publishers who are uncertain about the power that Google could be amassing.”

Google has recently faced DOJ scrutiny for its acquisition ITA, as well as for hiring practices and making money from illegal online pharmacy ads. Google’s DoubleClick acquisition also attracted an antitrust review.

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