Google offered a range of guarantees to the European Commission (EC) around its use of data were it to acquire Fitbit, Financial Times reported, with the promises said to have tipped the balance in favour of the regulator approving the deal.
The newspaper’s sources said Google’s pledges include: not using data derived from Fitbit wearables for targeted advertising for ten years; allowing devices made by third parties to access data with user consent under specific conditions; and promising not to hamper access to other Google services by rival wearable makers.
Google reportedly previously promised not to use Fitbit data for targeted advertising for at least five years. Its executives have also regularly stated the deal is about devices and not data when questioned on the company’s motives for the $2.1 billion acquisition.
Rumours on a forthcoming green light from the EC come a week after the body’s competition authority extended the deadline for completion of its in-depth probe into the deal by a few weeks to 23 December.
On being announced in November 2019, Google’s deal was expected to close by the end of 2020. Since then it faced opposition from consumer watchdogs, and various authorities around the world have opened investigations into its implications.