Fitbit’s $ 2.1 billion acquisition of Google is approaching the EU’s regulators
Antitrust regulators and consumer protection groups are boosting Google’s acquisition of the Fitbit Fitness tracker.
Google said Fitbit was buying $ 2.1 billion last year and said it hoped the deal would be completed by 2020. heart rate, their fitness activity and sleep patterns.
The Financial Times reports EU regulators have sent 60-page questionnaires to Google և Fitbit’s competitors asking them to evaluate how the acquisition will affect digital healthcare. will it feel like the fitness apps that are hosted on the Google Play Store; And how Google can use data for profile users for its search and advertising business.
EU regulators have established deadline for their next decision on the transaction on July 20. The blockchain can choose to confirm the transaction or ask Google for concessions (on how Fitbit data is used, for example), or open a four-month investigation to fully address concerns. The: FT: The latest questionnaire sent to competitors of companies suggests that the level of detail suggests that the work may be an extended investigation.
The EU is not the only party fearing an acquisition. Last month, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced this own concerns. “Purchasing Fitbit will allow Google to create a more comprehensive user data collection, further strengthening its position and increasing the barriers to access for potential competitors,” said RodC Sims, ACCC President.
Anxiety from regulators also coincides with consumer protection groups. This week, 20 consumer groups from the United States, the European Union, Mexico, Canada and Brazil wrote to regulators that the deal was a “test case” to see if they could effectively seize data monopolies.
“Google can exploit Fitbit’s extremely valuable health and location databases and data collection capabilities to strengthen its already dominant position in digital markets such as online advertising,” the group said in a statement. report CNET:. “Google could also use Fitbit’s data to establish a command position in digital and related health markets, depriving competitors of the ability to compete effectively.”
Google has made some concessions to alleviate these fears, saying that last year “Fitbit Health and Health Data will not be used for Google ads.” Introduction: reaction The letter from consumer groups said the deal was “about devices, not data”, adding that the bearing area was “extremely crowded” and that Fitbit’s acquisition would only increase competition.
These arguments are likely to prevent antitrust regulators from simply blocking the deal. Luck, as Fitbit և Google is not a direct competitor: none of them are sufficiently included in the clothing market to claim that the transaction creates a monopoly.
“It’s going to be extremely difficult to get to work,” said David Balton, an antitrust attorney who was FTC’s director of policy during Microsoft’s antitrust lawsuits. Luck. “There is no successful opposition to such vertical mergers.”
According to: Data from IDC analystsFitbit had less than 5 percent of the declining market in 2019, while Apple, the largest player, had 32 percent. The next two largest companies, Xiaomi and Samsung, have a market share of 12 և 9 percent, respectively. None of these companies use Google software on their mobile devices.
However, fears about the availability of data may be more compelling given Google’s strong position in online advertising, where it controls 90 percent of the market for some special tools, such as publishers selling exhibition advertising. At the moment, this is a sensitive area for Google, as it is the US Department of Justice is coming to an end to conduct an antitrust investigation against the company in connection with the alleged abuse of its advertising dominance.
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