Flickr User: Birger Hoppe
As you might guess from an earlier post, I'm thrilled that Silicon Valley companies are taking a stand against regulators and blogging about their interactions with FTC investigators.
From The Wall Street Journal:
Many of those who have spoken with FTC investigators say they appear to be building a case that Google's purchase of AdMob would harm mobile-applications developers. Under that theory, the companies that create programs that appear on the iPhone and other handheld devices would have fewer mobile ad networks to choose from when trying to make their work pay.
If that is the FTC's case, then the fact that so many developers are publicly opposing a challenge to the deal could pose a problem for the agency. What's more, many of the bloggers have been unflattering about the FTC investigators with whom they have spoken, something Google could use in its defense.
Calling upon government to enforce light-touch, fair-play rules of the game is important, even necessary. However, regulators, in particular, simply do not understand Silicon Valley, technology, and the concept of value creation.
What I'm convinced regulators do understand is the PR value of big, meaty, publicity-significant targets that allow it to tell other companies "We're watching." In many ways, even after closing the investigation, the FTC probably accomplished all that it originally set out to do.