What you need to know
- Google has promised tighter controls around the use of Fitbit data and promised to allow third-party wearables to work well on the Android platform in a bid to allay EU concerns around its Fitbit acquisition.
- These assurances are said to have paved the way for an approval of the acquisition.
- The European Commission will make its final decision by December 23rd, though it could make an earlier declaration if it chooses.
Googles Fitbit deal is set to be approved by the EU before the end of the year as Google has made fresh assurances to the body. As reported by Reuters, Google now says it would be restricting the use of Fitbit data for ads and tightening the monitoring of the process for whatever exceptions exist.
In a statement to Reuters, Google said:
We're also formalizing our longstanding commitment to supporting other wearable manufacturers on Android and to continue to allow Fitbit users to connect to third party services via APIs (application programming interfaces) if they want to.
These assurances are said to have swayed the European Commission and paved the way for approval of the acquisition after months of scrutiny. The body will make a final decision on December 23, though an earlier one may be forthcoming regardless. In the meantime, it will seek feedback from market rivals and consumers before it formally accepts the new concessions or asks for more.
For its part, Google had always reiterated that the Fitbit deal was not around data, sharing the following in July.
This deal is about devices, not data. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the European Commission on an approach that safeguards consumers' expectations that Fitbit device data won't be used for advertising.
Google had initially purchased Fitbit for $2.1 billion in November 2019. With this roadblock likely out of the way, the deal may finally be on its way to completion.
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