EU Regulators Checking if Fitbit Deal Will Boost Google's Clout

Healthcare providers are also being asked whether they would see Google as a rival if it is allowed to buy Fitbit.

Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
EU Regulators Checking if Fitbit Deal Will Boost Google's Clout

Photo Credit: Reuters

Questionnaires have been sent to rivals and healthcare professionals to take a stock of Google's position

Highlights
  • Google acquired FitBit for $2.1 billion last year
  • A questionnaire to rivals asks if this will reinforce Google's dominance
  • The European Commission is scheduled to decide on the deal by July 20

EU regulators are checking whether Google's purchase of Fitbit might allow it to drive rival makers of wearable devices, app developers, and other online service providers out of the market, and boost its dominance in online advertising and search.

Healthcare providers are also being asked whether they would see Google as a rival if it is allowed to buy the fitness tracker company in a $2.1 billion (roughly Rs. 15,677 crores) deal criticised by privacy and consumer groups, according to EU documents seen by Reuters.

The EU queries underscore the importance of Fitbit's trove of health data generated from its devices, which are used to monitor users' daily steps, calories burned and distance travelled, and how this could further extend Alphabet-owned Google's market power into a fast-growing area.

A 47-page questionnaire to potential rivals asks if the deal will reinforce Google's dominance in general search and online advertising and how the smartwatches and fitness trackers market will develop if the Fitbit deal does, or doesn't, go ahead.

"In your view, would the aggregation of Fitbit's data to Google's database strengthen Google's position in the supply of online search advertising services?" regulators ask.

They want to know if users will have another option should the prices of Fitbit's devices go up, and whether Google will provide its operating system for smartwatches at less favourable terms, or even stop providing them, to Fitbit's rivals.

App developers for mobile payment services, digital service distribution, navigation, translation, virtual assistant, and search are all being asked if the deal will result in lower prices and more choice, or the opposite.

Another 11-page questionnaire asks healthcare providers whether their customers would migrate to a new Google competing service in the event Google has access to Fitbit's devices or data.

The European Commission is scheduled to decide on the deal by July 20.

Australia's antitrust regulator has warned against the deal, while US and EU advocacy groups have also voiced criticism.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


Why do Indians love Xiaomi TVs so much? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Further reading: Google, FitBit
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter to Face Same EU Rules on Hateful Content as Broadcasters
Fallout TV Series From Westworld Creators in the Works at Amazon Prime Video

Related Stories

 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2020. All rights reserved.
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com