Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit Acquisition Request Faces Challenges from the EU

Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) ’s $2.1 billion Fitbit Acquisition Request Faces Challenges from the EU

EU regulators are concerned how this will  affect the digital healthcare space; and if other fitness tracking apps in the play store will be at a disadvantage. Regulators are also concerned how Google will use the  data to profile users for its own efforts for their  search and advertising business.

Reported by Euronews “Privacy International is calling on EU regulators to block the merger,” it said in a statement. “If the EU approves the deal, then it will be giving a green light to our most intimate data being used for the profit of a tech giant which, in 2018 only, generated more than $80 billion (€71 billion) in revenue from delivering targeted advertisements to users,” it added.

In a report by the European Consumer Organization “The acquisition of Fitbit could expand Google’s immense power in digital markets into the $8.7 trillion global healthcare market1 through its strength in data and data analytics. Google has already made significant inroads into healthcare. Regulators must carefully assess the proposed deal’s implications for innovation and its potential to undermine the ability of companies to bring new products to consumers in the area of digital healthcare.

The results of unfortunate merger control decisions in the past have likely contributed to the rise of tech giants. Subsequent concerns now have to be addressed through more costly and lengthy ex-post antitrust enforcement proceedings and other competition interventions. Such harms to consumers are far better prevented than cured. Therefore, before deciding whether this takeover can proceed or not, regulators must carefully analyse its full implications for consumers and consider its potential for far-reaching and dynamic effects on digital and health markets.” Source: European Consumer Organization

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission also has concerns.

We believe that Google will be able to overcome these concerns as they stated, “Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.” Still, data privacy concerns remain at the forefront of a Fitbit acquisition.

In other news Google announced that most of all its staff will work from home until mid 2020 due to concerns about the COVID-19 Pandemic. Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook CEOs to appear at antitrust hearing on July 27, 2020.

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