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Google Tells European Commission It Won’t Use Fitbit Health Data To Target Ads

The EC has extended the timetable until August 4, while it mulls over Google's olive branch in the proposed Fitbit acquisition.

Image source: Fitbit

Alphabet’s Google subsidiary has offered to the European Commission that it won’t use health data from Fitbit’s fitness tracker in order to target ads. The company is responding to the EC’s antitrust issues surrounding its proposed $2.1 billion acquisition.

Announced in November 2019, the bid for Fitbit aimed to boost Google’s presence in the fitness-tracking and smartwatch sectors to compete with market leaders Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Xiami.

As of Q1, Fitbit had only 3% of the global wearables market compared to Apple’s 29% share and trails Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei, according to data from market research firm IDC.

The proposed deal prompted concerns from consumer groups and privacy advocates. Google replied in an emailed statement: “The deal is about devices, not data. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the European Commission to protect consumers’ expectations and not use Fitbit device data for advertising.”

Despite the fact that privacy concerns are not part of the EC antitrust review, the aggregate amount of health data generated from Fitbit devices to monitor users’ daily steps, calories burned and distance traveled incited concerns about how Google plans to use it.

The EC extended its deadline from July 20 to August 4 in order to obtain feedback from users and competitors about Google’s latest volley before making any decisions about the deal.

The data pledge may help Google secure approval. Failing that, the EC could either demand additional concessions or subject the proposed deal to a four-month-long investigation.


Source: Equities News

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