Google-Fitbit Deal Probe Extended by EU Regulators to December 23

European Union (EU) antitrust regulators have prolonged their investigation into Alphabet unit Google’s health tracker maker Fitbit to December 23, the European Fee mentioned on Wednesday.

The EU competitors enforcer final month kicked off a full-scale probe into the deal, saying Google’s pledge to not use Fitbit’s information for promoting functions was inadequate to handle competitors issues.

“The Fee prolonged the deadline in settlement with the events,” the EU government mentioned in an e mail.

Google has mentioned the mixture of its and Fitbit’s {hardware} would increase competitors within the sector the place gamers embody Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei and others.

“Our investigation goals to make sure that management by Google over information collected by way of wearable units on account of the transaction doesn’t distort competitors,” mentioned European Fee Govt Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, who is also the EU’s competitors commissioner.

Google introduced its determination to purchase Fitbit in November 2019 for $2.1 billion (roughly Rs. 15,720 crores). Privateness, social justice and shopper teams have referred to as on authorities to dam the deal, citing privateness, and antitrust issues.

The EU mentioned the deal may increase Google’s “information benefit” and subsequently elevate obstacles for rivals to match Google’s internet marketing providers.

“This deal is about units, not information,” mentioned Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice chairman for units and providers. “We have been clear from the start that we’ll not use Fitbit well being and wellness information for Google advertisements,” he wrote in a blog post.

The investigation provides extra scrutiny of the transaction, which Australia’s competitors watchdog can also be inspecting. It underscores the lead function EU authorities have taken in world efforts to manage the large know-how firms.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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