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Google’s Fitbit takeover approved by EU

Google’s Fitbit takeover approved by EU

Fitbit smartwatches

Reuters

Google’s takeover of Fitbit has been approved by the European Commission, following a four-month investigation.

The search giant bought the fitness tracking company for $2.1bn (£1.5bn) in November 2019 – but the EU warned the acquisition could harm competition.

Google has made a series of pledges to address investigators’ concerns.

Commission executive vice-president Margarethe Vestager said the deal would keep the wearables market “open and competitive”.

The European Commission had expressed concerns Google would:

  • use the tranche of Fitbit data for targeted advertising, making it harder for rivals to compete
  • exclude third parties from the Fitbit platform
  • disadvantage rival wearable device-makers by degrading their compatibility with Google’s Android smartphone operating system

Google has now promised:

  • not to use health, fitness and location data from Fitbit devices for advertising, for users in the European Economic Area
  • to store Fitbit data in a “silo”, kept separate from any other data used for advertising
  • to maintain third-party access to the Fitbit platform
  • not to degrade the user experience of third-party smartwatches when paired with an Android phone

The commitments must be kept for 10 years.

Published at Thu, 17 Dec 2020 14:40:29 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos

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