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Consumer groups urge block of Google-AdMob deal

Google's proposed acquisition of mobile ad network AdMob would make it too easy to bring the Web giant's dominant search ad business to the mobile world, according to two consumer groups.

Consumer groups are worried that Google's proposed AdMob buy would give it too much mobile power.

Two consumer groups have added their objections to Google's proposed acquisition of mobile advertising network AdMob, saying the deal would be anticompetitive and cause privacy concerns.

The Federal Trade Commission has already signaled that it wants to take a closer look at the $750 million deal, which was announced in November. AdMob runs an ad network across mobile sites and applications, and critics such as Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy are concerned that the company will give Google a big advantage in extending its dominant share of the search advertising market into the fast-growing mobile space.

"The mobile sector is the next frontier of the digital revolution. Without vigorous competition and strong privacy guarantees this vital and growing segment of the online economy will be stifled," said John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog and Jeffery Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, in a letter sent to the FTC Monday (click for PDF).

It's not clear exactly what the FTC is examining during its current review of the deal, but Google said last week that the receipt of a "second notice" would push back the expected completion of the deal by a few months. This is getting to be the new normal for Google, which is coming off a year during which it faced more government scrutiny of its growing online power than ever before.