U.S. regulators are reportedly asking competitors questions about Google's pending AdMob acquisition, according to Bloomberg. More specifically, the Federal Trade Commission is asking Google's rivals and advertisers for sworn statements that put on paper the things they told the agency when it was first investigating the proposed deal.
Though neither FTC nor Google representatives will comment on the "development," two experts quoted in the Bloomberg piece indicate that if the rumors are true, it can't be good for Google.
Former FTC general counsel and current Wayne State University law professor Stephen Calkins says the agency typically doesn't collect sworn declarations unless it foresees challenging the acqusition or asking the courts to modify the deal. And there have been instances in which the FTC collected the documentation and then decided not to proceed with a challenge.
Similarly, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer counsel Thomas Ensign, who works in the firm's antitrust, competition and trade practice, says:
It's difficult to envision a scenario where this development, if true, is positive for Google-AdMob. But it doesn't necessarily mean the agency is going to challenge the deal.