Google agrees to not use Fitbit’s data for ads, earns merger approval from EU

Google agrees to not use Fitbit’s data for ads, earns merger approval from EU

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

  • The European Commission has permitted Google’s acquisition of Fitbit.
  • However, the corporate has agreed to a number of concessions that can restrict what it might do with the info it collects from Fitbit gadgets.
  • Google has additionally agreed to honor the EU’s situations for a minimum of 10 years.

More than a yr after it acquired Fitbit again in November 2019, Google has obtained approval for the transaction from the European Commission.

As anticipated, Google needed to conform to a number of situations, which it must honor for a minimum of 10 years, to get the EU’s blessing. Most notably, it informed the Commission it gained’t use the well being and wellness information it collects by way of Fitbit gadgets to reinforce its advertisements enterprise. It’s additionally obligated to keep up free entry to Fitbit’s Web API, which permits builders to create apps that entry information collected by Fitbit’s health trackers and sensible scales. Under the phrases of the settlement, Fitbit customers within the European Economic Area could have the choice to stop the corporate from feeding their well being and wellness information to different Google providers resembling Maps.

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Related: Making sense of the Google-Fitbit acquisition

Another vital side of the approval pertains to Google’s stewardship of Android. The firm has agreed to proceed freely licensing the software program APIs {hardware} producers require to make their wearables work with the corporate’s cell working system. The EU has additionally imposed situations that stop the corporate from circumventing or dishonest that requirement. For occasion, the settlement covers Google’s future enhancements to options like GPS and Bluetooth entry. The firm can also’t degrade the person expertise on third-party wearables by displaying error messages and permission requests in a means that’s discriminatory towards a third-party participant.

Approval from the European Commission is a serious milestone for Google as it really works in direction of closing the deal, however the firm nonetheless has but to realize regulatory assist from the US authorities. And greater than anything, which will find yourself delaying or scuttling the deal. The firm is at present the topic of two separate antitrust lawsuits within the nation, together with one lead by the Justice Department. Those fits are targeted on Google’s search and advert companies. Still, it’s a must to think about it is going to be troublesome for the corporate to persuade lawmakers to approve a splashy acquisition whereas it’s accused of anti-competitive practices.

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