Antitrust regulators in EU (European Union) opened a probe few months ago in August this year to look into the deal and whether to allow it or not. Rising concerns of privacy have brought the deal under a huge amount of scrutiny and inspection from the regulators in Europe.
Google settled at the per share price of $7.35 to acquire FitBit. The deal first caught public eye during the latter part of year 2019. It the deal was agreed to be an all-cash affair. Approval from all relevant regulatory authorities becomes necessary for deals of such magnitude and stature. United States DoJ (Department of Justice) looked into the matter and investigated on whether the deal deserves to be given a green signal to go ahead. Department of Justice demanded both involved parties to deliver more relevant information regarding the deal.
Regulators across the Atlantic are concerned as well regarding the deal as well. Google worked to acquire the approval back in June of this year as suggested by the website of regulators. Issues regarding privacy are not being reviewed by European Union Anti-trust regulators but the worries are there. FitBit carries personal information of millions of users already and so does google already. But information provided by FitBit devices can prove to be very valuable for Google.
“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,” warned the BEUC. It is a group of consumer advocacy group based in Europe.
However, Google recently offered to limit its use of data provided by FitBit devices for Google Ads. “We’re also formalizing our longstanding commitment to supporting other wearable manufacturers on Android and to continue to allow Fitbit users to connect to third party services via APIs (application programming interfaces) if they want to,” Stated Googled in an official statement.