Google CEO Plans to Fight Hard If FTC Blocks AdMob Acquisition

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said on Tuesday that his company would fight “very hard” if the FTC tries to block his company’s acquisition of mobile ad network firm AdMob. Mr. Schmidt made the comments in an interview with Reuters, where he said that AdMob was a strategic purchase the company needed to remain competitive against Apple’s iPhone platform.

The US$770 million purchase was announced in November of 2009, but has been held up as the Federal Trade Commission examined the deal for antitrust concerns. Mr. Schmidt said that the resulting holdup in the deal has left Google at a “significant disadvantage.”

In the meanwhile, Apple purchased the smaller mobile ad network company Quattro Wireless for $275 million in January of 2010, and has already turned the deal into a new iPhone-only service called iAd.

“It would be better if the AdMob acquisition can be approved to see if Google can get a more competitive market on the iPhone platform,” Mr. Schmidt told Reuters.

In an unrelated note, Mr. Schmidt characterized Apple’s developer agreement that bans the use of third-party developer tools that don’t meet Apple’s strict standards as being, “discriminatory against other partners.”

He also told the newswire service that he and Apple CEO Steve Jobs remained good friends, irrespective of the intensifying competition between the two companies.