Google May Be Able to Ward Off EU Antitrust Probe Into Fitbit With Data Pledge

Google-Fitbit deal was aimed to take on Apple and Samsung in the fitness trackers and smartwatches market.

Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
Google May Be Able to Ward Off EU Antitrust Probe Into Fitbit With Data Pledge

Photo Credit: Reuters

The deal was announced in November last year

Highlights
  • Google said the deal is about devices and not data
  • The deal allows Google to take on Apple, Samsung in the wearables market
  • Apple is the leader currently with a 29.3 percent market share

Google may be able to stave off a full-scale EU antitrust investigation into its planned $2.1 billion (roughly Rs. 15,783 crores) bid for fitness tracker maker Fitbit by pledging not to use Fitbit's health data for its ads, people familiar with the matter said.

The deal announced in November last year allows Google, a unit of Alphabet, to take on Apple and Samsung in the fitness trackers and smart watches market, where other players include Huawei and Xiaomi.

The leader in the global wearables market was Apple with a 29.3 percent market share in the first quarter of 2020, followed by Xiaomi, Samsung, and Huawei, according to data from market research firm International Data Corp. Fitbit's share was 3 percent.

Still, the deal has drawn heavy criticism from privacy advocates on both sides of the Atlantic, concerned that Google may use Fitbit's trove of health data to boost its dominance in online advertising and search.

Earlier this month, EU regulators asked rival makers of wearable devices, app developers and other online service providers as well as healthcare providers for their views.

Google could allay competition worries by offering a binding pledge to EU competition enforcers along the lines of its promise last year not to use Fitbit's health and wellness data for Google ads, the people said.

The European Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the deal by July 20, declined to comment. The deadline for Google to offer concessions is July 13.

Google said the deal is about devices and not data.

"The wearables space is highly crowded, and we believe the combination of Google's and Fitbit's hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector, benefiting consumers and making the next generation of devices better and more affordable," a spokeswoman said.

"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," she said.

The US Justice Department is also reviewing the deal while the Australian regulator said it could harm competition.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


Poco M2 Pro: Did we really need a Redmi Note 9 Pro clone? 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.

iOS 14, iPadOS 14 Public Beta: How to Download and Install
Apple Rolls Out Free Online Coding Course for Teachers

Related Stories

 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

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