EU opens full investigation into the acquisition of Google bit Fitbit on fear of health data

The European Commission is opening a full investigation into Fitbit’s acquisition of Googlebit. EU regulators are worried that the deal will try to stay ahead of the market in online advertising by allowing the giant to search for data collected from Fitbit’s health monitoring hardware, can be used for personalized advertising.

Data collected through wearables seems to be … an important advantage in today’s online advertising market, writing commissions in press releases.. By increasing Google’s data advantage in personalizing the ads it serves through search engines and displaying them on other internet sites, it will be more difficult for competitors to match advertising services. online advertising.

In recent months, regulators and consumer groups have signaled their concerns about the $ 2.1 billion Fitbit acquisition, announced in November 2019. Google responded to the This concerns by promising not to use the health data collected from Fitbit devices to target ads and place it in a silo data, separate from the ad tracking business. But the EU says these guarantees are not enough, because the information Google promised to include in silos did not include all data that Google would access as a result of the transaction and would be valid for advertising purposes. .

In addition to concerns about Google consolidating its position in the advertising business, the committee is also concerned about the impact that acquisition could have on the European digital health market and the possibility of Interaction of rival fitness tracking devices with Android.

Having a blog post, Google SVP about hardware Rick Osterloh emphasizes that there is a fierce competition with Fitbit devices and the Google giant will be happy to make the legal commitments made, about how it will use the health data it collects as part of the deal. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the European Commission on an approach that addresses consumers’ expectations for their wearables, according to Mr. Osterloh.

The Commission now has 90 days, until December 9, 2020, to end the investigation.