Google Approved By EU To Acquire Fitbit
The move comes as regulators in the EU are looking at ways to keep U.S. Big Tech companies from over-extending their dominance of the markets.
According to the EU, Google’s pledge to keep access for rival health and fitness apps and device makers for the next decade cinched the decision and convinced them that Google’s entry into the health and fitness field wouldn’t bring antitrust concerns, Bloomberg reported.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, said the company’s commitments will “determine how Google can use the data collected for ad purposes, how interoperability between competing wearables and Android will be safeguarded and how users can continue to share health and fitness data, if they choose to,” according to Bloomberg.
However, some smaller rivals have still complained that Google’s pledge might not completely stop the company from shutting off access to competitors in the future, Bloomberg reported.
The acquisition was the focus of controversy initially, as critics worried that the tech giant could use customer data for its own purposes and that it could further consolidate the power Google had in the tech world.
Google said it understood that regulators needed to look closely at the acquisition and said the company has “worked constructively with them to resolve their concerns, including the set of legally binding commitments,” Bloomberg reported.
Google has said it won’t use Fitbit users’ data for advertising purposes, and it made concessions earlier this year that it would tighten monitoring, support other wearable manufacturers and allow Fitbit users to connect to third-party services through application programming interfaces (APIs), PYMNTS reported.
Wearable devices have been in vogue lately, worth around $70 billion per year and forecast to have double-digit percentage growth in the coming years as more companies enter the market, PYMNTS reported. Wearables have found an audience among those who want to analyze their personal health and well-being digitally at their own convenience.