What you need to know
- The EU has approved Google's Fitbit acquisition after an antitrust investigation.
- Google had made commitments to silo data collected from Fitbit devices away from its ads business.
- The company has also pledged to allow third-party wearable manufacturers equal access to the Android platform.
Google's $2.1 billion Fitbit acquisition can finally go ahead as the EU has approved it after previously launching an investigation into the deal over antitrust concerns.
The body had sought to ascertain whether Google's merger with Fitbit's would stifle competition in the smartwatch space by given Google outsized control over user data compared to its competitors. The investigation also wanted to determine whether Google could degrade the smartwatch experience of non-Fitbit rivals on Android. After a months-long investigation, these concerns have been satisfied.
In a press release issued today, the European Commission's Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said:
Google will no doubt be pleased with this outcome. The company had always maintained that its Fitbit acquisition was about "devices, not data." Reuters had reported back in September that Google's commitment to allowing open access to the Android platform from other wearable manufacturers as well as its new privacy commitments were key to swaying the EU, and today's release confirms that.
Fitbit Charge 4
Fitbit makes some of the best wearables, and Charge 4 is one of our favorites. it blends style and sportiness with good battery life for a fairly low price. Google's merger won't bear fruits for smartwatch enthusiasts just yet, but Fitbit's products still work great on Android.
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