Google wants to take over Fitbit. However, the European Union is worried about what that could actually mean. Will Google’s plan have a negative effect on the competition? Won’t the company have access to excessive personal data?
Fitbit is a company that produces all kinds of products that help people keep fit and healthy. For example, activity trackers, smartwatches, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices that measure data such as the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, and other personal metrics involved in fitness.
Google’s plan to take over this company is taken kindly by everyone. A group of 20 consumer groups and privacy advocates oppose this idea. They don’t want the big giant to take over Fitbit due to several reasons. However, Google responded to the group’s concerns by saying that it would not use Fitbit data to target advertising. On top of that, the company would be “transparent” about the data collected.
Google declared it was buying the unprofitable Fitbit for $2.1bn back in November 2019. By achieving this plan, the big giant has a chance of competing against the Apple Watch. The company can use Fitbit to expand its wearables business and offer its own-brand smartwatches.
Personal Data issue
Google is selling all kinds of products. Therefore, the company is handling lots of personal data. This is the reason why some are concerned about the company getting their hands on even more data.
Privacy International is against Google taking over Fitbit. Therefore, as part of the opposition, here is their message:
“We don’t think any company should be allowed to accumulate this much intimate information about you.”
Whether Google will take over Fitbit or not, we will find out for sure on July 20. Will the EU allow this plan to go further or launch an investigation? Therefore, the regulators have sent detailed questionnaires to some of Google and Fitbit’s rivals in order to find out whether this deal will put them at a disadvantage.
Australia’s competition authority is seriously thinking about this deal as well. Google’s move does raise certain concerns; therefore, they will make a decision in August.
Here is what Google told Reuters news agency regarding the situation:
“This deal is about devices, not data. We believe the combination of Google’s and Fitbit’s hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector.”