Apple's behavior may convince regulators to approve Google-AdMob deal

Apple's entry into the mobile ad business, as well as its acquisition of Quattro Wireless and its anti-Adobe stance on app development may have caused the FTC to look at the Google-AdMob deal in a different light.

The timetable for federal regulators to review Google's $750 million acquisition of AdMob has been extended two weeks beyond its deadline so that the Federal Trade Commission can look further into recent developments at Apple and the competitive effect they'll have on Google-AdMob, according to a New York Times report that cites unnamed sources.

Specifically, the agency is looking at Apple's purchase of AdMob rival Quattro Wireless, as well as Apple's forthcoming rollout of the iAd mobile advertising product.

It looks like Apple may have done Google a favor. The NYT report says that the FTC had been leaning toward opposing the acquisition because it would it would reduce competition in the young mobile phone advertising space. But Apple's recent entry into the mobile ad market may make it more competitive as smaller players would be able to the game at the early stage through Apple's revenue-sharing ad system.

However, it appears the federal agency needs more time to review the effects partly because Apple has been reluctant to share details about its mobile advertising business plan with federal regulators, sources told the NYT.

No big surprise there.

I wonder how the pushback will come back to bite Apple when it comes time for the feds to launch an investigation into Apple's anti-Adobe restrictions on app development. A source told the NYT that the FTC's decision on Google-AdMob "would have been much easier without Apple and its new ad system and terms of service provisions."

It's funny how the tables have turned with Apple, once the cutting-edge innovator whose mission was to be the computing preference of those fighting back against big business interests. Now, Apple is the one seen as the secretive corporate engine that's closing off outsiders, acting as if it has something to hide.

By behaving in that manner, it may have done Google a favor in helping regulators to think differently about the AdMob deal.

The NYT says a decision on Google-AdMob could come as early as this week.