Google’s Fitbit takeover probed by EU regulators

Google’s Fitbit takeover probed by EU regulators

Fitbit next to the Google logo

Copyright of the image
Reuters

The EU is wondering if Google’s proposed takeover of Fitbit will harm competition or give it access to too much personal data.

Fitbit manufactures fitness tracking watches that monitor the wearer’s heart rate and activity levels.

A group of 20 consumer groups and privacy advocates called for the Google acquisition to be blocked.

Google has stated that it will not use Fitbit data to target advertising and would be “transparent” on the data collected.

He announced that he was buying Fitbit at a loss for $ 2.1 billion (£ 1.68 billion) in November 2019.

The move would help Google expand its wearable business and offer smart watches with its own brand to compete with the Apple Watch.

“Intimate information”

But some are concerned that Google already has a lot of personal information about many people who use its products.

As part of its campaign against the acquisition, Privacy International said: “We don’t think any company should be allowed to accumulate this intimate information about you.”

EU regulators will decide by July 20 whether to allow the agreement or launch an investigation.

They sent detailed questionnaires to several rivals of Google and Fitbit, asking if the acquisition would put them at a disadvantage.

The Australian competition authority has also said it has doubts about the deal and will make a decision in August.

“This deal is about devices, not data,” Google told Reuters news agency.

“We believe that the combination of Google and Fitbit’s hardware efforts will increase competition in the industry.”

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