by Lincoln Mayer

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved social media heavyweight Twitter’s $350 million stock acquisition of MoPub.  Twitter’s purchase of the mobile advertising exchange, which helps companies place ads on mobile devices, is expected to enhance Twitter’s ability to tailor mobile ads to users.  The size of the deal triggered the Hart-Scott Rodino (HSR) Act’s mandatory filing requirement, but the FTC concluded that the acquisition posed no anticompetitive obstacles.

This high-profile transaction is a reminder of the value of good planning and involving antitrust counsel early in the planning process, even where the parties do not anticipate significant antitrust issues.  With enough advance warning, counsel can work with the antitrust agencies to showcase the procompetitive aspects of the transaction, mitigate any problematic aspects and seek rapid clearance of deals that, at least from a competitive standpoint, are relatively straightforward.  In Twitter’s case, that meant being able to resolve a potential regulatory issue involving its largest acquisition to date before the launch of Twitter’s initial public offering.