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Chao Lu is an independent investor and currently a college student at Colby-Sawyer College, NH. The article comes from the Outsider, a blog that Chao posts weekly analysis about the US financial market and tracks the hedge fund industry on a daily basis. Blog link:... More
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  • What is behind Google’s takeover of AdMob?  0 comments
    Jun 13, 2010 7:00 PM | about stocks: , FTC

    The Federal Trade Commission (NYSEARCA:FTC) shocked the crowds by unanimously approving the takeover of AdMob Inc. by Google Inc. The FTC stated that the takeover will not undermine the competition in the emerging market of mobile advertising. The excuse is not quite convincing though. Mobile advertising is still an emerging industry and that is why Google may not appear as a Monopoly at the moment. Think about that, who would predict Microsoft to become a monopoly in the 1950s? The FTC has always been very tough on the mergers or takeovers that violate the antitrust law. But this time, its attitude has changed radically towards this Internet searching company. What is wrong?
    Google seems to receive a lot of benefits from the federal government recently. It just received the permit from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to get into electric business by launching Google Energy. All the members in FERC agreed the Internet search giant to sell electricity like an electric utility. Google knows nothing about the energy industry, how come the FERC allowed it to serve utilities to the public? Google is becoming a conglomerate!
    My opinion is that all these are very likely to be related to the closure of Google China. In January, Google, surprised others, threatened the Chinese government that it is going to leave China if the Chinese government fails to provide explanation for the cyber attack on several of its servers and Gmail accounts. In addition, Google asserted that it would no long obey the Chinese law to filter the local search results. Many young people in China praised the American company for its courage to flight for human rights.
    However, the whole thing was dubious. It makes no sense for a public traded company to risk leaving one of the biggest Internet markets in the world. It was not being responsible to its investors by taking such a big risk when facing its unfriendly competitors, such as Apple Inc. and Microsoft Inc. How did a little company dare to start a war with a government, which caused the company to lose thousands of contracts in the mainland China? Undoubtedly, Google was bound to lose in front of a regime. The stalemate lasted 2 months and ended with Google closing its Chinese office in Beijing.
    At that time, there were many people doubted that the American government was backing the searching engine. The US government is famous for using human rights as a tool to attack developing countries like China. Recent news suggests that Google’s move was very likely a move by the US to pressure China on its human rights issue. The recent approvals by the FTC and FERC are very likely the repayment by federal government for Google’s sacrifice during the battle with the Chinese government.
    Although there are still many issues remain dubious and unsolved, we can predict that, in the future, there will be more favors coming from the federal government to this Internet giant based in Mountain View, Calif.

    Disclosure: Google
    Stocks: , FTC
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