Earlier this month, it emerged that Google’s Fitbit acquisition was facing deeper scrutiny from the EU. A new report today says that European regulators are willing to back off if Google formally pledges not to use Fitbit health data for advertising purposes.
According to Reuters, Google could avoid a four-month long antitrust investigation by “offering a binding pledge to EU competition enforcers.” The continent’s regulators want the company to formalize its November promise not to use Fitbit health and wellness data for ads.
At the time, hardware chief Rick Osterloh said Google would give existing Fitbit users the ability to review, move, or delete data.
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Google reportedly has until July 13 to offer that concession as Europe’s preliminary review into the deal is set to return a decision the week after.
European regulators have already surveyed competitors about whether the purchase will harm the marketplace, and how Fitbit could benefit Google’s up-and-coming Health division.
In a comment to Reuters, Google argues its acquisition will ultimately boost competition:
“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.
Since the $2.1 billion deal is still up in the air, Google and Fitbit have yet to detail any joint plans. However, we’ve spotted signs that Fitbit is working on Google Assistant for its Versa 2 smartwatch. This would compliment Amazon Alexa, and be a fast way to mark the ownership transfer.
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