Badboy Google Mobile Stake and Agent Murdoch Causing Trouble

Google bought AdMob for USD750 million. The dollars in this purchase are credit crunch dollars, which I reckon in real terms it means they almost bought it for 1 billion of the pre-crisis dollars. This is the second mogul to clearly show the way towards Mobile blueskies. The first one was Apple and their little iPhone Diablo. Without it, no one in the Valley would have taken their wallets out to invest in mobile startups this year. It is particularly poignant this point I am making: that it takes ten years to awaken the house, ten years of sweat and tears at the mercy of the carriers. At least these days, the operators have people their own size to fight in the playground, not 10-people startups with no lawyers and less money in the bank than a mouse.

Still, the press in the UK at least, and in specific The Telegraph, were too busy with other more important headlines. On the plane I grab a free copy of the Kensington newspaper and read the great news about EA buying a UK startup for some awesome Valley wonga: the purchase of Playfish for USD400m. Congratulations Accel Partners and Index Ventures. Looks like Father Christmas delivered early. In the same article, towards the end, Google’s little rich boy shopping spree was covered in a mere little paragraph starting with “Meanwhile, Google….”. I guess the editors did not consider that this news deserved its own headline.

November, 9 was significant for Google: a purchase into one of the fastest market segments: mobile advertising, a handy purchase given the other event that took the headlines on the day also carrying its mighty name: Murdoch to sue the BBC and block Google. Agent Murdoch is on a mission to prove that his son’s James declarations at the Edinburgh Guardian Television conference about charging for content and stopping the BBC TV license “assault and robbery” was not in vain and metal is being put to the pedal all the way from Oz, which is where he was at the time of these news. Google is no Saint and Murdoch and the rest of the links people know it. In fact, today at marketing conferences it is usual to hear presentations on how to reconcile your ad revenues with those that Google claims you had. Sounds like DVD sales to me in the film industry: you just can’t prove the distributors wrong and have to take it the best way you can. The Aussie octogenarian is no roll-over and die kind of guy, do not be mistaken. Google may be the rich kid with the USD22billion in profits, but those dollars come 98% from the global advertising market.

Google’s purchase cost is cracking a pricetag ceiling unseen in mobile. This is good news to us all in mobile, specially for a company with not even four years trading. Accel and Sequoia are probably clapping their hands for having put money in mobile and backed the company consistently through 3 rounds. Yes, Accel again in case you missed it. Kudos and Mexican waves to them. It was about time mobile threw this kind of deal to the market. It is about time that other investors and mobile players begin to raise from the sofas and get the drift that mobile is going to happen and it will be big business. It is all good news. The USD750m are not the real value of AdMob or anybody really. Nothing is worth that kind of money when it reaches abstract figures that can save the debt of small countries. What it signifies is how hugely enormous the pie of mobile advertising is going to be. By the look on the faces of the newspaper owners that I addressed this past Thursday in Barcelona at their international “WAN-IFRA Beyond Conference“, where I evangelised and hammered over and over again: the future of content is mobile and you need to wake up fast.

Murdoch may have yanked the blanket off the cosy bed Google was laying, but the badboys of Mountain View move fast to where it’s hot: Mobile.


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