Today marks the deadline for antitrust regulators in the European Commission (EC) to finish the preliminary review into Google’s $2.1
Today marks the deadline for antitrust regulators in the European Commission (EC) to finish the preliminary review into Google’s $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracking company Fitbit.
The deadline was extended from July 20 after Google promised not to use personal health data collected by Fitbit devices for advertising, addressing a major roadblock for the deal. While EC regulators are primarily concerned with fair competition, policymakers have their own worries about privacy issues and data protection for the 28 million active Fitbit users.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is concurrently investigating the deal. Google has been hit with antitrust cases before, but it is unlikely that the EC or the DoJ will prevent the acquisition from passing. Currently sitting at a mere 3% share of the fitness tracker market, Fitbit has fallen significantly behind rival products like Apple’s iWatch. The company’s market value has fallen nearly 85% since its IPO in 2015. Though Fitbit’s acquisition by Google would provide a significant boost to its market share and value, it is hardly likely to provide Fitbit with an unfair advantage over Apple or Samsung. Given Google’s promise to not abuse Fitbit’s health data, expect the EC to allow the acquisition to pass.
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