EU launching deep probe into Google’s planned $2.1 billion Fitbit buy

 In antitrust, Biz & IT, EU, Europe, european commission, fitbit, google, Mergers and Acquisitions, Policy

EU launching deep probe into Google’s planned $2.1 billion Fitbit buy

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Logo of Google is displayed on a smartphone by logo of Fitbit in Brussels, Belgium on August 4, 2020.

Enlarge / Logo of Google is displayed on a smartphone by logo of Fitbit in Brussels, Belgium on August 4, 2020. (credit: Dursun Aydemir | Andalou Agency | Getty Images)

Regulators in the European Union are launching a deep investigation into Google’s proposed acquisition of wearables maker Fitbit after expressing concerns that giving Google access to Fitbit’s user data could “distort competition.”

The Commission’s in-depth investigation will examine not only the potential outcomes for the advertising market if the transaction goes through, but it will also look at the effects of the deal on the digital healthcare sector and the potential for Google to lock competitors out of access to Android users.

Data provided by wearable devices “provides key insights about the life and the health situation of the users of these devices,” Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s head of competition, said in a written statement. “Our investigation aims to ensure that control by Google over data collected through wearable devices as a result of the transaction does not distort competition.”

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Google could both abuse the data and also lock out competitors, EU regulators warn.

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