Google is facing an EU probe over its Fitbit purchase CNBC reports, citing sources familiar to the matter. The company had previously attempted to avoid this by pledging not to use Fitbit health data for its ads business to avoid this situation.
“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the European Commission on an approach that safeguards consumers’ expectations that Fitbit device data won’t be used for advertising,” Google had said, as per Reuters last month.
The deal, announced last November, would see google compete with market leader Apple and Samsung in the fitness-tracking and smart-watch market, alongside others including Huawei and Xiaomi.
The European Commission, which will launch the probe following the end of its preliminary review on Aug. 4, is expected to make use of the four-month long investigation to explore in depth the use of data in healthcare, one of the people said. The EU will reportedly launch a full-scale antitrust investigation next month, suggesting Google’s pledge wasn’t enough to sway the body.
“The wearable’s 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,” a spokeswoman told CNBC. Google previously made the same statement when the EU opened its preliminary investigation.
Google had purchased Fitbit for $2.1 billion in November 2019. It had done this to bolster its Wear OS business by producing first-party hardware in the same way its HTC business purchase helped build its smartphone portfolio.
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