Tech giant Google is facing a full-scale E.U. antitrust investigation over its recent $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracker maker Fitbit.
CNBC reports that tech giant Google is facing a full-scale EU antitrust investigation this week over its $2.1 billion bid to purchase the fitness tracker maker Fitbit. Google offered not to use Fitbit’s health data to help it target ads in an attempt to address antitrust concerns from E.U. officials, however, the launch of a full-scale investigation implies that this is not sufficient.
The deal was announced last November and would see Google compete with Apple and Samsung in the fitness-tracking and smart-watch market. The European Commission will launch the probe following the end of its preliminary review on August 4 and is expected to make use of the four-month-long investigation to dive deep into the use of data in healthcare, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation.
The Commission declined to comment on the situation while Google repeated previous comments stating that the deal is about devices and not data. A Google spokesperson told CNBC:
The wearables space is crowded, and we believe the combination of Google and Fitbit’s hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector, benefiting consumers and making the next generation of devices better and more affordable.
Google’s promise to not use healthcare data for targeted advertising has still drawn criticism from healthcare providers, wearables rivals, and privacy advocates who believe that the company has failed to address their concerns that the deal with Fitbit would boost the company’s dominance in the online search market and its large collection of user data.
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