Google Investor: Is The FTC Out To Kill The AdMob Deal?

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Google cofounder Sergey Brin

Photo: AP

GOOG Advances As Rest Of Tech Declines
Despite overall tech being down, GOOG shares closed Tuesday’s trading session up at $568.22 (18x 2010 EPS and 19x Enterprise Value / EBIT). Upcoming catalysts include the March quarter earnings release on April 15th; updates on changes to paid search results; Android adoption; and benchmarks surrounding newer initiatives (Wave, Chrome, Base, broadband network, etc.).The FTC Gears Up To Fight The Google / AdMob Combination (The Wall Street Journal)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appears to be getting ready to block Google’s acquisition of AdMob. While it hasn’t made a decision yet, the Wall Street Journal says the FTC has put together a team to stop Google. Who’s bringing this to their attention? One source tells us that Verizon, Microsoft, and AT&T are among the strongest protesters. According to IDC, the combined companies would control 21% of the mobile ad market. With Apple set to announce it’s own mobile ad product today, Google will likely point to Apple as evidence of healthy competition.

Google Will Increase Focus On E-Commerce; Search “Performing Well” (Bank Of America Merrill Lynch)
BAML’s Justin Post spoke to leading e-commerce channel management provider ChannelAdvisor and concludes that Google will increase its focus on e-commerce.  The company’s initiatives will revolve around recently-released products “Google Checkout and Google Product Search,” which retailers have found good results using thus far. In addition, ChannelAdvisor says its clients’ search spending is up 10%-12%. Google is performing well, generating higher conversion rates and cost-per-click (CPC).  We should point out that Google has been increasing its focus on it’s e-commerce products since late 2009, but Post believes the recent hiring of Stephanie Tilenius as VP, eCommerce could drive even further initiatives.

iPad Not The Only Option; Google Set To Own 24% Of The Tablet Market (Cellular-News)
With all the hype about the iPad, the world has forgotten about the other tablets that have or will soon hit the market (HP, Dell, Microsoft, etc.). None of these will run Apple’s iPhone operating system. Quite a few of these tablets will be based on Google’s Android operating system. IMS Research estimates that about 24% of the tablets shipping in 2010 will be based on Android while 10% will be based on Microsoft Windows 7. That said, Dan Frommer at Business Insider believes that iPad hype could stunt Android development.

Murdoch Calling For Google To Stop Publishing His Material Or Pay For It (BusinessWeek)
Rupert Murdoch is once again pleading for old world media publishers to stand up to search giants and content aggregators who publish content from subscription publications. He expects Google will soon halt the practice of posting content produced by others without paying for it. Highly unlikely, in its entirety at least. Google News favours established media outlets, like the Wall Street Journal (a News Corp. company). Murdoch should consider how much more traffic and interest is generated by queries from the search giant, which controls 70% of the market.

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