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Sources close to the matter confirmed to Bloomberg that Apple contacted AdMob Inc. "a few weeks" before it accepted a $750 million dollar offer from Google. Spokespersons from Apple, Google, and AdMob, all declined to comment on the subject. The nature and extent of the contact between Apple and AdMob is unknown as of now.
AdMob is one of the largest sellers of advertisements on the iPhone, placing ads in many popular free apps such as Yelp and Tap Tap.
With the purchase of AdMob, Google has become the Internet's largest mobile advertising company. Google now has a dominant advertising presence on both the iPhone and Android platforms.
Google's CEO Eric Schmidt said in an earlier interview with Bloomberg, "AdMob is clearly the best of its ilk for applications monetization." Schmidt acknowledged that one of the iPhone's great accomplishments is the sheer number of apps which are available, especially those that are free and ad-supported.
Google had an already large footprint on the iPhone with its native Maps and YouTube applications, along with downloadable apps Google Mobile and Google Earth. Apple and Google have not always seen eye-to-eye over the platform, especially regarding the Google Voice application. Apple's rejection of the app prompted a Federal Communications Commission investigation into the matter.