If your bid to acquire a company is being questioned by the FTC for “anticompetitive” reasons, you have to love when another high-profile company decides to enter the very same space. So for Google, Apple’s decision to launch its mobile advertising platform, dubbed iAd, could not have come at a better time. Google’s $750 million bid for mobile ad leader AdMob, who currently serves up a third of all mobile adverts, has been under serious scrutiny by the FTC. Antitrust regulators are citing concerns about the amount of money, or lack thereof, the users — mostly developers — of services like AdMob are paid. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt commented on Apple’s new presence in the mobile ad space by saying it is: “evidence of a highly competitive market.” We thought he might say that. Will iAd, with its one platform target, really be enough to sway the FTC into green-lighting the AdMob acquisition? Only time will tell. More →
If you’re a big telecommunications company there is the hard way to add 893,000 customers to your portfolio — by working to provide hardware and services that people value and want — then there is the easy way. Cutting a check. Today, the FCC gave AT&T the final go ahead to purchase US wireless carrier Centennial Wireless for a cool $944 million. The acquisition will bolster AT&T’s presence in the midwest, southwest, and Puerto Rico, although we’re not sure how, if at all, it will impact their 3G footprint. Centennial’s stockholders will receive $8.50/share for their troubles and AT&T is saying it will have Centennial’s stores re-branded by January of 2010. Any Centennial customers out there excited about being folded into Ma Bell? More →
Didn’t see this one coming… Apparently Branson’s Helio-hawking MVNO Virgin Mobile is about to be gobbled up by the nation’s number three. Sprint has officially announced its intentions to acquire the popular prepaid peddler and according to the release, it’s a done deal. Sprint will cough up $483 million in total for the acquisition, though its current 13.1 percent stake in the company factors into that figure. The carrier will also cover VM’s $250 million in debt at closing. We’re not yet sure how the VM brand will be positioned in Sprint’s arsenal — perhaps it will remain a separate brand or maybe it will be folded into Boost Mobile — but the bottom line is Sprint sees plenty of potential in the prepaid market. You know what they say… There’s no money like up front money.
If you haven’t heard by now — Virgin Mobile is acquiring Helio for $39M — you’re really living under something… In any case, what’s going to happen to Helio’s 170,000 subscribers? Well, we’ve go a hold of an internal Helio Q&A which answers some of those concerns. A couple highlights? Helio subscribers service will not be interrupted, Helio, believe it or not, is still accepting new activations, and the Helio brand will be dissolved into Virgin Mobile over time. The whole thing is after the jump.
Thanks, Ryan P.!