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.



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...

Read more