The European Union approves Google’s deal with Fitbit

Google’s $ 2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit wearable tech company, Fitbit, is now close to completion now that it has been approved by the European Commission.

When Google announced the acquisition in November 2019, Google’s head of hardware, Rick Osterloh, said the purchase of Fitbit was an opportunity to invest more in Wear OS, in addition to bringing Made by Google wearable devices to the market.

Regulators quickly stepped in, and in August, they formally launched an investigation into Google’s purchase of Fitbit due to data privacy and antitrust concerns.

In agreeing to the deal, Google has now agreed to a number of concessions to ease EU concerns.

Among the waivers, Google agreed not to use Fitbit data, including GPS data and health data, collected from any EEA user for targeted ads.

In addition, the company is required to maintain a technical separation between its business and that of Fitbit, and to give EEA users the option to consent to or refuse to use fitness data through other Google services, such as: search engine and map producer.

The approval of the deal also stipulates that Google maintains obligations regarding the programming interface for Fitbit’s web applications and the programming interface for its Android applications, which promotes competition.

These commitments will be valid for 10 years, and Margrethe Vestager, Deputy CEO of the European Commission, said in a statement: We can approve the proposed acquisition deal; Because the commitments ensure that the wearable device market remains open and competitive.

She added: The obligations specify how Google can use the data collected for advertising purposes, how the interoperability between competing wearables and Android is protected, and how users can continue to share health and fitness data, if they choose to do so.

Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, said in November that she expected the acquisition of Fitbit to be completed by the end of 2020.

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