EU Questions Google Rivals About Fitbit Acquisition

Posted on July 2, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Google, Wearables, Fitbit with 10 Comments

The European Commission has sent out questionnaires asking Google’s rivals whether its proposed $21 billion acquisition of Fitbit would harm competition. But there is already strong industry opposition to the purchase: 20 consumer groups have separately petitioned regulators in the United States and EU to reject it for privacy reasons.

“Regulators must assume that Google will in practice utilize the entirety of Fitbit’s currently independent unique, highly sensitive data set in combination with its own, particularly as this could increase its profits, or they must impose strict and enforceable limitations on data use,” a joint statement by the group reads.

Google rejects this claim.

“Throughout this process, we have been clear about our commitment not to use Fitbit health and wellness data for Google ads and our responsibility to provide people with choice and control with their data,” a Google statement retorts. “Similar to our other products, with wearables, we will be transparent about the data we collect and why. And we do not sell personal information to anyone.”

Regardless, the EC questionnaires suggest that regulators in Europe could block the acquisition and trigger a new antitrust investigation into Google’s business practices. Or it could ask for certain concessions as a condition for approval.

Australia’s competition authority is also investigating the purchase and says it will issue a decision in August.

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “EU Questions Google Rivals About Fitbit Acquisition”

  1. bbennett40

    "What??? Oh..yeah..uh..I mean YES! Whatever you just said is impacting us greatly!! Go do something!!"

  2. txag

    What is a Google promise worth?

  3. shmuelie

    we do not sell personal information to anyone.

    True... Since they don't need to. They are the advertiser that wants your data.

  4. Daekar

    I am getting tired of SV companies eating the world.

  5. jim_may

    ”We do not sell personal information to anyone.”


    • SvenJ

      In reply to Jim_MAY: As was noted on the premium side, they don't. They use the data themselves. They have no reason to sell advertising data to other advertisers. They sell the fact they have it to those wanting to advertise.

  6. dcdevito

    They will have to prove health data they would collect in this case would have an entirely different business model than anything else, I know insure as heck wouldn’t my health data (even anonymized in large collections) sold to anyone in any fashion, period. I also question Google’s motive here: is it just to play catch up with Apple and Samsung? Or something else

  7. SvenJ

    Just let it go. In a year they'll sell it to Lenovo.