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Google's deal for Admeld faces antitrust review

Justice Department to scrutinize $400 million deal for Internet advertising display company, according to published reports.

Google's purchase of Internet advertising company Admeld will be subjected to an antitrust review by the Justice Department, according to reports by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Google sought to portray the advantages of the $400 million deal while responding to media inquiries regarding the reported investigation.

"This acquisition is designed to help publishers get the most from the rapidly growing display advertising industry, which is both complicated and incredibly competitive," Google spokesman Rob Shilkin said in a statement to The Times. "The emergence in recent years of a huge variety of technologies for publishers, like Admeld's, is great evidence of that."

The deal for the display advertising company, which was announced Monday, was expected to attract regulatory scrutiny after Google's $750 million acquisition of mobile-ad company AdMob in 2010 and its $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick in 2008.

Federal regulators have had a close eye on Google for years, including scrutinizing those two previous advertising company acquisitions, its dominance of Internet search, its proposed ad deal with Yahoo, and Google Books settlement with authors and publishers.