Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit takeover is set for regulator approval after the tech giant made new concessions on user data, according to reports



a close up of a sign: Google first announced the Fitbit acquisition in November 2019. Reuters


© Reuters
Google first announced the Fitbit acquisition in November 2019. Reuters

  • Google is expected to win EU approval for its $2.1 billion Fitbit deal after it addressed competition and data concerns, Reuters reported.
  • The internet giant has promised it will not use Fitbit data to personalize adverts for 10 years, according to a Financial Times report.
  • It will also ensure competitors can use its Android and Cloud platforms, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • The EU opened a four-month long investigation into Google’s acquisition of Fitbit in August. The deal was first announced in November 2019.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of wearables company Fitbit appears to have cleared a major hurdle.

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It will be cleared by EU antitrust regulators after the tech giant agreed Tuesday to restrict how it uses customer data, according to multiple reports.

Google promised regulators that it would not personalize adverts based on user data for 10 years, up from a previous promise of five years, sources with knowledge of the matter told the Financial Times.

The tech giant also guaranteed that other devices will be able to use Fitbit’s health data, if a user consents, and that Fitbit devices will still work with services like Strava and Map My Run, the FT report said.

Google also said it would let wearables competitors use the Android application programming interface (API), making it easier for them to connect to Google’s Android platform, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The European Commission is scheduled to consult with Google rivals and customers, and decide on a ruling by December 23, but the latest concessions will be enough for it to approve the deal, Reuters reported.

The commission declined to comment to Reuters, and has not published details of the concessions.

The EU opened a four-month investigation in August into the Fitbit acquisition, to find out whether the deal would allow the tech company to collect people’s health data and give it an unfair advantage over rivals. 

Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, said in a statement at the time: “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.”

Google announced it had agreed to buy Fitbit for $2.1 billion in November 2019.

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