Google’s Fitbit deal could avoid EU antitrust probe by agreeing not to use health data for ads

Google’s Fitbit deal could avoid EU antitrust probe by agreeing not to use health data for ads

Google introduced its plans to amass Fitbit for $2.1 billion again in November. As of this writing, the deal has but to undergo, courtesy of all the standard regulatory scrutiny that happens any time one massive firm buys one other. EU regulators are sometimes a key hurdle for these types of offers, and this time it might be no totally different.

Citing “folks acquainted with the matter,” Reuters notes that Google could also be dealing with down some scrutiny within the type of an EU antitrust investigation if it doesn’t make some concessions. The coronary heart of the priority here’s a matter of well being privateness. Fitbit — like many different wearable firms — collects an amazing quantity of well being info from wearers.

Google, in fact, is an organization tremendously invested in knowledge and promoting. Critics of the deal have instructed that buying Fitbit would offer yet one more wealthy vein of knowledge for Google to mine. As such, the deal might hinge on the promise that Google won’t ever use well being knowledge to promote adverts.

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Google is buying Fitbit for $2.1 billion

The stipulation is in line with a promise the corporate made when the acquisition was first introduced, with the corporate’s head of {hardware} Rick Osterloh promising, “[P]rivacy and safety are paramount. When you utilize our merchandise, you’re trusting Google together with your info. We perceive this can be a huge accountability and we work exhausting to guard your info, put you in management and offer you transparency about your knowledge.”

In a follow-up to this week’s reporting, the corporate famous that it believes the acquisition would enhance competitors. While Fitbit has a large footprint, Apple, Xiaomi and Huawei at present dominate the class, due partially to Fitbit’s late begin within the smartwatch class. Google’s efforts to make inroads by means of Wear OS have largely come up quick, although the corporate did additionally buy a bit of smartwatch tech from Fossil final January.

Google is shopping for Fossil’s smartwatch tech for $40 million

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A spokesperson additionally tried to place to relaxation potential regulatory fears, stating, “Throughout this course of we’ve got been clear about our dedication to not use Fitbit well being and wellness knowledge for Google adverts and our accountability to offer folks with alternative and management with their knowledge.”

Regulators are set to determine on the deal by July 20. Google reportedly has till July 13 to current its concessions.


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