Google announced late last year that it planned to purchase Fitbit to bolster its wearable portfolio, but the deal has been under scrutiny from the EU since day one. Several months later, it’s now looking like Google’s Fitbit deal will undergo a full investigation from the European Union.
Reuters reports that the EU will announce a full-scale investigation into the Google/Fitbit deal next week. If that’s the case, it could delay the deal from finalizing even further, preventing Google and Fitbit from working together more closely.
The investigation would reportedly take up to four months and may focus in on the use of this data in healthcare. In a statement reiterating its previous comments, a Google spokesperson said that the deal is about the devices, not the data, and how Fitbit will help Google better compete in the wearable space.
The wearables space is crowded, and we believe the combination of Google and Fitbit’s hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector, benefiting consumers and making the next generation of devices better and more affordable.
Previously, Google has pledged to the EU that it will not use Fitbit customer data — which includes some detailed heath data — to serve advertisements. That motion was made to help curb antitrust concerns from the EU, but clearly it wasn’t enough now that talks of a full investigation are on the table.
More on Google/Fitbit:
- Europe wants Google to pledge that Fitbit data won’t ‘further enhance’ Search
- Google says Fitbit deal is ‘about devices, not data’ after committing to EU pledge
- Android phones can now recognize a nearby Fitbit device that needs to be set up
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