The European Commission (EC) moved ahead with a full-scale probe of a planned Google purchase of Fitbit, after deciding the move raised serious concerns over control of user data.
EC EVP and Competition Commissoner Margrethe Vestager explained the probe will focus on ensuring “control by Google over data collected through wearable devices as a result of the transaction does not distort competition”.
She noted a belief use of wearables by “European consumers is expected to grow significantly in the coming years”, along with an associated hike in the data produced as factors.
The EC stated it was unconvinced by a pledge Google made around protecting user data, while also expressing concerns about the potential impact on the digital healthcare sphere and whether Google could “degrade the interoperability of rivals’ wearables” with its Android OS.
It has until 9 December to make a ruling.
In a blog, Google SVP of devices and services Rick Osterloh defended the $2.1 billion deal, stating it would “increase competition” in wearable hardware, noting the sector already had “vibrant competition” from companies including Apple, Samsung, Garmin and Fossil.
The acquisition is also being scrutinised by the US Department of Justice.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back