DOJ Asks Google for More Information on AdMeld Buy

As Google marches on in its quest to dominate online display advertising, the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the company to provide more information about its proposed acquisition of display yield optimization firm Admeld. Google announced the DOJ’s “second request” in a post on its Public Policy blog yesterday.

“We’ve been discussing this deal with the Department of Justice, who are obliged to review the transaction because of its purchase price,” wrote Neal Mohan, Google’s VP of display advertising. “As they do for many acquisitions, they have sent us a ‘second request,’ which means that they are asking for more information in order to complete their review of this particular acquisition.

Admeld helps publishers get the best price for excess inventory through ad networks. The buy is a controversial proposition because it could create a conflict of interest for Google, which runs one of the biggest online display networks. Some argue the acquisition would consolidate the display industry in a way that would stifle competition, and the DOJ will be the final arbiter.

“This doesn’t surprise us, as today’s display advertising industry is very new and highly complex,” continued Mohan regarding the request. “But we’ll work to enable this review to be concluded as quickly as possible – display advertising is highly competitive and fast moving, and we don’t want our efforts to bring better services to our clients to be delayed.”

Mohan pointed to the variety of evolving buying and selling options available in the display space, noting recent introductions of RTB platforms from Lijit Networks and Collective and AppNexus.

Google confirmed the acquisition in June, which has been reported to be valued at $400 million.

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