What you need to know
- Google purchased Fitbit for $2.1 billion back in 2018.
- In 2020, the EU opened an antitrust probe into the merger, halting progress for months before finally giving an OK in December.
- The company today announced the finalization of the purchase and repeated the same commitments that had persuaded the EU to approve the merger.
Google has finally completed its Fitbit purchase, the company shared today. Google had purchased the smartwatch brand for $2.1 billion back in 2018, but an antitrust probe in Europe over held up the process for months before the EU finally approved the merger in December.
Today, Fitbit is now officially part of Google. Sharing the news in a blog post, Google's Rick Osterloh repeated the same privacy commitments that were made to the EU, saying:
This deal has always been about devices, not data, and we've been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users' privacy. We worked with global regulators on an approach which safeguards consumers' privacy expectations, including a series of binding commitments that confirm Fitbit users' health and wellness data won't be used for Google ads and this data will be separated from other Google ads data.
Google also shared further commitments towards keeping both the Android platform and the Fitbit platform open to third-party devices and services. In other words, Google isn't going to rework Android to privilege Fitbit over something like a Galaxy Watch 3, nor will it change the way Fitbits work so that they can no longer work with the same third party services they currently work with. The company has made these commitments working with regulators, so at least it'll be held accountable and possibly fined if it reneges.
Writing in a letter on the Fitbit blog, Fitbit CEO James Park affirmed the company's continued commitment to openness, saying:
I have no doubt that this acquisition will create so many opportunities. But I also want you to know that many of the things you know and love about Fitbit will remain the same. We'll stay committed to doing what's right, to putting your health and wellness at the center of everything we do and to offering a no-one-size-fits-all approach with choices that work across both Android and iOS.
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