EC gives itself more time on Google Fitbit deal - Mobile World Live

EC gives itself more time on Google Fitbit deal

24 SEP 2020

The European Commission (EC) extended the deadline for completing an investigation into Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit to 23 December, more than 13 months after the deal was first announced.

Following a preliminary assessment, the EC last month launched an in-depth probe citing concerns about the deal extending Google’s already strong position in the online advertising market and allowing it to access a larger pool of personal data.

At the time EC Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the investigation aimed to “ensure that control by Google over data collected through wearable devices as a result of the transaction does not distort competition”.

Its original deadline for the wider probe was 9 December.

Google maintains the deal is about devices not data. In August its SVP for devices and services Rick Osterloh made a public commitment the company would not use health and wellness data from Fitbit for advertisements. It has also offered a legally binding pledge to the EC along the same lines.

On announcing the big-money acquisition in November 2019, Google expected the deal to close during 2020.

However, since then a number of authorities around the world have raised concerns and opened investigations into competition and data privacy implications.

Various consumer watchdogs have also voiced apprehension.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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