Google's AdMob acquisition sure wasn't a smooth one. Challenged by the FTC, it took months to get the acquisition through. And just when everything seemed to settle, Apple decided to exclude non-independent third-party ad-networks from iPhone and iPad apps, AdMob's main revenue source.
The $750 million acquisition seemed to have been in vain or at least worth significantly less. However, a radical and completely unexpected change
of heart from Apple means that AdMob is once again allowed in the App Store.
Note that the policy had never been enforced and business continued as usual for AdMob for these past months.
"Today, Apple updated their iPhone Developer Program License Agreement. Unlike the previous version, these new terms ensure that Apple’s developers have the choice of a variety of advertising solutions (including Google’s and AdMob’s) to earn money and fund their apps," Omar Hamoui, Vice President of Product Management at Google, wrote
"This is great news for everyone in the mobile community, as we believe that a competitive environment is the best way to drive innovation and growth in mobile advertising," he said.
"Mobile advertising has already helped to fund tens of thousands of mobile apps across many different platforms and devices, and it will help do the same for many more in the years ahead," he added.
Google is understandably excited by the new policy. While AdMob was still allowed in the App Store, Apple could have decided at any time to enforce the policy.
Now that Apple has officially revised its policy, AdMob can focus on its business with a little more security.
The reasons why Apple has changed its mind haven't been detailed, but it may have to do with the FTC starting to keep an eye on the company and its policies especially related to the App Store.