Google Likely To Win EU Antitrust Approval For USD 2.1 Billion Fitbit Purchase


Google, owned by Alphabet, is set to win EU antitrust approval for its USD 2.1 billion acquisition of wearable fitness product maker Fitbit. The deal will make Google more equipped to take on Samsung and Apple in the wearable technology market. The tech giant is hopeful of getting the deal cleared after it agreed to restrict how it uses data of its new customers. Google has promised regulators that it will not use data of new consumers to personalize adverts for 10 years. According to sources with knowledge of the development, the company had earlier promised to not do it for 5 years. The popular internet search engine said that it would tighten the monitoring process in order to ensure that its promise is implemented.

“We are also in the process of formalizing our longstanding commitment to supporting other Android wearable manufacturers. We continue to allow users of Fitbit to connect with third party services via APIs if they want to,” Google said. With users’ consent, third parties can have access to the data of Fitbit users. The EU Commission is expected to decide on the deal by December 23. However, it has refused to comment on the development. Some believe that the decision by the commission can come earlier than the expected deadline. But before deciding on Google’s concessions, the EU competition enforcer will definitely take feed from rivals as well as customers.

The European Commission had rejected the tech giant’s pledge of not using Fitbit data for advertising purposes. It said that assurance by Google was insufficient. The deal drew a lot of criticism from rival wearable brands, privacy advocates, and healthcare providers. Fitbit was once the leader of the wearable devices market. But it came down to just 3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020. This put it far behind Apple’s 29.3 per cent, as well as Xiaomi, Huawei, and Samsung.