After many twists and turns, the European Union appears poised to accept Google’s acquisition of Fitbit for an amount of $ 2.1 billion. According to ReutersIn fact, Mountain View has accepted several concessions to make the deal possible.
Google flexes (slightly)
Fitbit was once a leader in the world market for connected wristbands, but only had a 3% stake in the first quarter of 2020, compared to 29.3% for Apple and its now premier Apple Watch. To be able to compete with the Apple brand, Google acquired Fitbit in November 2019. However, this takeover was viewed with a weak view by the European Commission, particularly with regard to the collection of health data from those who wear the bracelets. and how google would use it. As a result, European regulators have demanded significant concessions from the web giant in order to approve the transaction and have even opened an in-depth investigation into the matter.
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To meet EU expectations, Google has agreed to restrict the use of Fitbit data for ad targeting and tighten control over this process. The company is also committed to helping other Android connected wristband manufacturers and should provide third-party programming interfaces to give consumers the choice of which service they prefer.
It’s not all over yet
The European Union will make its decision on December 23rd and await further efforts from Google. It will, in fact, gather feedback from competitors and Fitbit customers to see if other elements should be considered. Mountain View has not yet answered any questions about digital health or the type of data collected.
For example, the EU recently rejected a promise made by Google regarding the use of the data collected by the tracker because it was deemed insufficient. Despite these few obstacles, according to the sources cited, the approval of the European Competition Authority is on the right track Reuters.
If Google gets the European Commission’s skepticism under control, it will also have to answer for its actions across the Atlantic. The US Department of Justice is actually investigating the practices of the Mountain View company and its search engine in particular.