Antitrust regulators will open a probe for a time period of 4-months to clear FitBit’s acquisition by Google in the EU (European Union). Concerns regarding privacy have made this deal a subject of a massive amount of scrutiny.
Google acquire FitBit for the rate of $7.35/share in a deal of all cash. This news surfaced during the last few months of 2019. Regulatory approvals are necessary for all transactions of such magnitude and Department of Justice in United States launched an investigation to allow the transaction. Both parties were required to present the Department of Justice with more information back in April of this year.
Now European commission is also reviewing through the deal as well. Google was seeking approval of the regulators during June of this year. European Union antitrust review does not directly include privacy issues but there are concerns regarding it going around. Google and FitBit carry a lot of personal information of people around the world. We can expect Google to make a few compromises on how it is going to use data made available to it through FitBit.
“If Google acquires consumers’ data generated by the use of Fitbit wearables, including now COVID-19 related data, it would be able to use that data for its own benefit and could undermine the ability of other companies to bring new products to consumers,” the BEUC warned recently, which is a European consumer advocacy group.
“The wearables space is crowded, and we believe the combination of Google and Fitbit’s hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector, benefiting consumers and making the next generation of devices better and more affordable.” Stated a spokesperson for Google.
Despite all the scrutiny, the deal is expected to be finalised and as soon as it is finalised, we can expect Google to be on a competing ground with Apple, Samsung and Garmin in the wearables tech industry.